Partial press release is below.
SCHUMER LAUNCHES PLAN TO CREATE BOON FOR NY APPLE PRODUCERS; NEW DEFINITION OF HARD APPLE CIDER WILL LOWER TAXES ON PRODUCT, IMPROVE ABILITY TO COMPETE IN FOREIGN MARKETS, INCREASE FARMERS’ SALES
Schumer Plan – the CIDER Act – Updates Definition of Hard Cider to Ensure All Products Can Be Labeled & Taxed Like Hard Cider, Not Wine -- Allows Producers that Often Suffer from Frost & Bad Weather to Add New Stable Source of Income
NY Has 654 Growers & Already Over 20 Hard Cider Producers, Like Slyboro Cider House – Proposal Would Boost Business for Existing Producers, Help New Growers Add Highly Popular Hard Cider to Product Line, Improve Ability to Compete
Today, at the Slyboro Cider House in Granville, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer unveiled a new plan to boost the sales for New York’s over 20 existing hard apple cider producers and to allow the over 650 apple growers to expand their business and add this increasingly popular craft beverage to their product line. Schumer highlighted that the Capital Region boasts 3,648 acres of apple orchards that are primed to expand and produce more hard cider. Schumer explained that the alcohol content of New York’s hard cider fluctuates greatly due to sugar content, and current law often forces it to be taxed at a higher rate, preventing it from being labeled as hard cider. Compliance adds a significant financial burden to producers and consumers, and an unpredictable nature to the business, which makes it more expensive for cider producers like Slyboro, and less attractive for potential new cider producers.
Schumer therefore launched his proposal, the CIDER Act (Cider, Investment & Development through Excise Tax Reduction Act), to update the definition for hard apple and pear cider in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) that would increase their allowed alcohol by volume from 7 percent to 8.5 percent, encompassing significantly more hard cider products and allowing them to be labeled and taxed like hard cider, rather than wine.Schumer’s proposal would also address existing tax issues related to carbonation levels in hard cider, and would put the new definition in line with that of the European Union, so producers can better compete with European products abroad. Hard cider is a value-added product that is sold around the same price every year; therefore hard cider gives producers a stable source of income when apple crops suffer due to weather and other unforeseen factors. New York apple producers are increasingly interested in producing smaller, artisanal batches of hard cider, but cite the cost and difficulty to comply with the IRC definition as significant impediments to expanding their businesses. ...