Brewers tax credit advances

ST. PAUL- A bill primarily aimed at benefiting Schell’s Brewery and Summit Brewing was approved by the Minnesota Senate Tax Committee last Friday, setting up for possible inclusion and passage in the Tax Omnibus bill.

The bill, authored by Sen. Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls), simply changes the limit for being eligible for the credit from 100,000 barrels produced per year to 250,000 barrels produced per year. Minnesota breweries that gain this tax credit get $4.60 per barrel on their first 25,000 barrels each year.

Summit Brewing and Schell’s Brewery barely produce more than the 100,000-barrel threshold. A spokesperson for the breweries testified Friday that the standard for what represents a middle-to-large brewery in the modern market tended to fall just beyond the 100,000 barrel limit. The representative testified that Schell’s and Summit deserve the tax credit and are nowhere near the level of national producers like Anheuser-Busch, which produces 100 million barrels per year.

The bill was passed with popular support last biennium, but it ended up in tax omnibus bills that were voted down ahead of Minnesota’s state government shutdown in 2011.

The bill now advances to potential inclusion in this year’s tax omnibus bill, which will be discussed later this session.

(Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at jmoniz@nujournal.com)

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