Law tax

Whitmer signs drink-to-go law and tax cuts on take-out cocktails

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  • Michigan State
  • Governor Whitmer will be signing invoices, making it easier for distillers and retailers to distribute and sell blended spirit drinks.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Monday signed several bills to facilitate the distribution of mixed spirits.

“This is a great example of bipartisan legislation that will create jobs and help our small businesses grow, and shows what we can do when we work together,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Distillers are a growing industry in Michigan, and these invoices make it easier for stills to distribute their products. These bills will make canned blended spirits more affordable and accessible, creating jobs and helping small businesses in Michigan. ”

Senate Bill (SB) 141, SB 142, SB 143 and SB 144 increased the alcohol content of Ready To Drink (RTD) from 10% to 13.5% alcohol by volume. Under the new law, the tax rate on RTD cocktails will drop from $ 0.48 to $ 0.30 / liter.

SB 142 allow blended spirit drink manufacturers to sell and deliver mixed spirit drinks to retailers in Michigan if certain conditions are met. Sales to wholesalers and retailers are limited to 31,000 gallons per year.

SB 144 requires some licensees to pay a levy per vehicle used for deliveries to retailers and revises definitions of several terms. The law creates an out-of-state self-distributing license with an annual fee of $ 300.

The bill establishes an annual license fee of $ 50 per vehicle used by small wineries, manufacturers of mixed spirits, qualified small distillers and outside self-distributors for the delivery of products to retailers. Revenue from the fees will be deposited into the Michigan Craft Beverage Council Fund and will be used by the Michigan Department of Agriculture.

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs projects the lower tax rate in SB 144 will reduce tax revenue by $ 400,000, based on 2018 tax revenue. However, the bill also expands the definition of “mixed spirit drink”, which will increase tax revenues. canned cocktails tax revenue to partially offset the loss.

“Ready-to-drink cocktails have seen a huge increase in 2020 and show no signs of slowing down,” David Wojnar, senior vice president of the U.S. Distilled Spirits Council, said in a statement. “Expanding the outlets where spirits-based RTDs can be sold will increase consumer convenience and provide additional revenue to the state. Consumers will also benefit from the reduced tax rate for these popular products.

When COVID-19 and state laws shut down indoor service at bars, Michigan lawmakers allowed patrons to take out drinks and even allowed “social districts”For outdoor alcohol consumption.

“Ready-to-drink cocktails have seen massive growth in the market over the past few years and this legislation is a critical part of ensuring that these products are able to compete on a level playing field,” Sen. Curt VanderWall, R-Ludington, said in a statement. “These invoices help our local distillers by removing tax barriers and giving them the ability to present their products to consumers easily and quickly. ”

The bill was bipartisan. Senator Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield, said the state needs to “catch up” to alcohol innovation.

“I was proud to work on this bipartisan legislation that removes onerous barriers to entering the market while safely regulating these products for consumers,” Moss said in a statement. “Kudos to Governor Whitmer for signing our bills.”

This story was originally posted by The central square. It is republished here with permission.

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