Business Column

Cuomo’s beer tax credit benefits on all fronts

/ The Daily Orange

UPDATED: Oct. 14 at 2 p.m.

As Manhattan bar-hoppers prep for a large frothy glass at their favorite dive, they’ll likely be knocking back cheaper drinks — or better ones.

At the end of September, Gov. Andrew Cuomo enabled tax credits to New York City breweries to help the booming business grow further. Brewers in the Big Apple will receive a 12-cent credit per gallon from the government on the first 500,000 gallons they sell and they will also receive a $3.86 credit per gallon on the next 15 million gallons, according to the press release.

Melanie Oventhal | Contributing Illustrator

Since he’s been in office, Cuomo’s focus has been to reach out and boost small business growth around the state of New York. This legislation comes as no surprise and clearly, Cuomo has the best interests of brewers, beer fans and the state in mind.

Those extra dollars spent on tax will ultimately be placed back into another pint. Now, the high-end breweries in New York City will have the opportunity to bring in more upscale, international craft beers from around the world. Meanwhile, lower-end breweries can go the price-cutting route and please their regulars.

Based on a 2015 Brewers Association breakdown of sales by state, the average New York resident over 21 years old consumes 2.3 gallons of beer a year. And considering that New York earns the fourth spot on economic impact by the beer industry — $2,921,000 per year — New York state will directly benefit from Cuomo’s tax credit rule.

Given that this policy will help breweries and New York state loves beer, this will be a successful venture. So, an extension of the tax credit should reach cities such as Syracuse, Rochester and even Buffalo, which are home to their own local breweries.

When it comes to the double benefits of the tax credit for the beer industry, Niko Krommydas, a journalist specializing in craft beer, agreed: if the money doesn’t trickle down to lower beer prices for consumers, funds could be used for more types of beers.

“If brewers have more money to reinvest in their companies and grow — in ways like adding equipment and hiring more employees — this could certainly result in the brewing of more different beers that customers will get to drink,” said Krommydas in an email. “It should definitely result in the brewing of more beer overall.”

Either way, the result will be better options, whether that’s for your taste buds or wallet. And New York City has Cuomo’s big interest in building small businesses to thank.

On a larger scale, business growth, including more employment opportunities, will be the end result. Brewers new and old in the New York City area, too, will end up using their extra funds in other ways, such as the purchase of securities or more property for expansion. Plus, with the additional million dollars returning back to breweries, there will be more opportunities for job growth in the Big Apple.

So why not, cheaper beer, more brands of beer from around the world, and employment for all? Cuomo hit it out of the park with the new beer tax credit.

DeArbea Walker is a junior newspaper and online journalism and marketing dual major. Her column appears weekly. She can be reached at and followed on Twitter at @why_drb.


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