Liquor Control hearing to address Pennsylvania’s taproom tax
A public hearing examining a new beer tax in Pennsylvania is set for Tuesday at the Spoonwood Brewing Company in Pittsburgh.
The hearing, hosted by state Rep. Natalie Mihalek, R-Upper St. Clair, will look into the state Department of Revenue’s recent tax bulletin, which requires breweries to collect the state’s 6 percent sales tax on every portion of beer sold.
The tax is set to go into effect on July 1.
Brewery owners are not concerned with the tax itself, but rather when it is collected, according to Mihalek. As it is currently written, breweries who bypass wholesalers and sell beer directly to consumers in their tasting rooms and retail storefronts would be required to issue the tax at the point of sale.
Instead, Mihalek says brewery owners believe that the tax should be applied at the wholesale level, which is already the case for transactions between distributors and retailers.
“Local breweries in Pennsylvania are small businesses that support hundreds of communities with thousands of jobs that contribute millions in tax revenue statewide,” says Mihalek. “A pour of their beer should not cost the consumer more at the source than it does at a local restaurant, but a fair tax on the kegs produced ensures sustainable contributions into the communities that support them.”
The hearing will feature representatives from the Department of Revenue, members from Brewers for PA, the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association, and the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association.
Paul Guggenheimer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-226-7706 or [email protected].