McConnell Extends Tax Relief for Kentucky’s Distillers and Brewers

December 18, 2019
‘Leader McConnell’s crucial commitment to our signature industry will continue to fuel Kentucky’s economy’

Last year, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association honored U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell with its prestigious “100 Proof Award” for his leadership in championing the state’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry. Photo download HERE.
For Immediate Release, Wednesday, December 18, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced today the Senate is expected to pass a one-year extension of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act this week. Utilizing his role as Majority Leader, Senator McConnell secured an agreement to renew this critical federal tax relief for Kentucky’s distillers and brewers in the Fiscal Year 2020 government-funding bill. The measure, approved by the House of Representatives, is expected be voted on by the Senate this week. Once approved, the government-funding agreement will be sent to President Trump for his signature.
In addition to preserving a federal excise tax (FET) reduction for more than 2,000 distillers and breweries, the funding bill extends Senator McConnell’s Advancing Growth in the Economy through Distilled (AGED) Spirits Act that provides fairness for bourbon producers by allowing them to deduct interest expense in the year it is paid, rather than at the end of the bourbon-aging process. 
The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, which was first signed into law by President Trump in 2017 as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, was set to expire at the end of this month. By extending it in this government-funding bill, Senator McConnell has supported the Kentucky bourbon industry’s more than 20,000 jobs and craft breweries across the Commonwealth.
“Kentucky’s craft beverage producers make vital contributions to our economy and preserve our treasured heritage, and I’m proud to lead the extension of this tax relief to support thousands of good jobs in communities across the Bluegrass State,” said Senator McConnell. “Kentucky’s bourbon industry draws investment and tourism into our Commonwealth, encouraging local economies and boosting pride in our state. My AGED Spirits Act is a pro-growth measure that puts Kentucky’s signature spirit on a level playing field with its competitors at home and abroad. As Senate Majority Leader, I’m prioritizing Kentucky’s interests in Washington, and I look forward to sending our legislation supporting the Commonwealth’s bourbon workforce to the President’s desk.”
Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, stated, “On behalf of the Birthplace of Bourbon, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association and its members, we are immensely grateful for the steadfast leadership of Leader McConnell in shepherding the extension of the FET rollback and the continuation of the AGED Spirits Act. These measures are vitally important in continuing Kentucky Bourbon’s historic renaissance, which is pouring more than $8.6 billion into the Commonwealth’s economy each year, and is responsible for 20,100 jobs, $1 billion in payroll and $2.3 billion in capital investment. Leader McConnell’s crucial commitment to our signature industry will continue to fuel Kentucky’s economy, which is why the KDA last year recognized his championship with our prestigious ‘100 Proof Award.’ We appreciate and applaud his unwavering support.”
“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been a steadfast advocate for the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act,” said Chris Swonger, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States president and CEO. “The Senator knows firsthand the devastating impacts Congressional inaction could have had on distillers throughout Kentucky, and his support is instrumental in moving this bill forward. We look forward to continuing to work with Leader McConnell on issues of critical importance to Kentucky distillers and their communities.”
“On behalf of our community of more than 2,000 U.S. craft distillers, we are immensely grateful for the steadfast support from Senator McConnell and the broader Congress. It has been a long, hard fight for this one-year FET extension, a critical relief that will protect our industry in the near-term, and we look forward to working towards FET relief permanence as together we protect the future success of craft spirits and the peripheral industries we support,” said Margie A.S. Lehrman, CEO of the America Craft Spirits Association
Contacts: David Popp, Doug Andres
                Robert Steurer, Stephanie Penn
Enjoy Like a True Kentuckian: Responsibly