CONGRESSMAN Lance Cosponsors Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act joins Mike Beneduce, Jr., owner and winemaker of Beneduce Vineyards in Pittstown, during a tour of the vineyard

Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today announced his co-sponsorship of H.R. 2903, the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act.  The measure would eliminate outdated regulations and make the U.S. tax code more fair, which is vital to New Jersey’s vibrant wine vineyards, craft brewers, cider and distilled spirits industries.

There is a strong market for craft beverages and home-grown New Jersey wines.  To keep these New Jersey small businesses competitive we have to eliminate out-of-date regulations and high excise taxes that make it difficult for them to expand their businesses.  By making these fixes we can help ensure costumers across the country and here in the Garden State enjoy these great products,” said Lance, who recently toured the Beneduce Vineyards  in Pittstown and the Unionville Vineyards in Ringoes.

H.R. 2903 seeks to modernize and streamline federal regulations regarding winemaking and the brewing of beer, cider and distilling of spirits.  It also recalibrates and reforms the federal excise tax on these products, reduces the federal excise tax per barrel and simplifies onerous IRS paperwork for craft brewers.  It also expands certain ingredient permissions that could be included in a product, so that crafters can innovate and bring creative new ideas to the market.

The Garden State Wine Growers Association (GSWGA) brought Lance on the tours of the Beneduce and Unionville vineyards.  John Cifelli, Executive Director of the GSWGA added, “The GSWGA is proud to count Congressman Lance as a supporter of the wine industry in New Jersey.  As a small-business champion and agriculture advocate, it is exciting for us to have his endorsement of this important legislation.”

In 2014, the New Jersey wine industry alone had an economic impact that stood at more than $275 million, contributing to more than 1900 jobs.