February 9, 2015
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Outlines Tax Exemption Proposal for Wine, Beer, Cider and Spirits Industries

Governor Cuomo Outlines Tax Exemption Proposal for Wine, Beer, Cider and Spirits Industries

Further Tax Exemptions Included in the 2015-16 Executive Budget Aim to Further Industries’ Rapid Growth

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today outlined new tax exemptions proposed in the 2015-16 Executive Budget that will further the rapid growth of the wine, beer, cider and spirits industries. These proposals include tax exemptions at tastings offered by the beer, cider and spirits industries, which are similar to exemptions already enjoyed by the wine industry, as well as the further expansion of tax exemptions for wineries at tasting events.

“New York’s craft beverage industry is creating jobs and driving economic activity in communities across the state – and this year’s Budget is designed to keep that momentum going well into the future,” Governor Cuomo said. “By expanding tax exemptions for wine, beer, spirits and cider industries, we’re helping local producers thrive and creating an environment that encourages their success. This proposal is a smart investment in some of our most rapidly growing small businesses, and I encourage New Yorkers to try one of the Empire State’s many world-class craft beverages today.”

Current law provides an exemption on the “Use Tax” for wine tastings, which applies to products that are produced for sale but end up being used for promotional and marketing purposes. The proposal in the 2015-16 Executive Budget expands this exemption to include tastings provided by the beer, cider and spirits industries, which will allow hundreds more craft beverage producers to better market their products and reinvest in their businesses.

The Governor’s Budget also proposes to expand the “Use Tax” exemption for all craft beverage producers by including an exemption for off-premises tastings. Current law only provides a “Use Tax” exemption for wine tastings on a producer’s premises, and even then this applies to only wines furnished at such tastings. Bottles, corks, caps and labels do not have such exemptions. The proposal outlined today in the Governor’s Executive Budget not only exempts bottles, corks, caps and labels from this tax, but also allows for a “Use Tax” exemption covering all New York craft beverage producers both on and off their premises.

Jim Trezise, President of the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, said, “In 2012, the New York grape and wine industry generated $4.8 billion for New York State’s economy. We greatly appreciate Governor Cuomo’s initiative to exempt from tax bottles, corks, caps and labels at tastings. In the past four years, Governor Cuomo has created the best business climate for wine in New York State’s history, which allows our industry to grow faster and contribute even more to the state’s economy.”

Paul Leone, Executive Director of the New York State Brewers Association, said, “This proposal further demonstrates that Governor Cuomo’s administration is doing everything it can to foster and develop the growth of the craft beer industry in New York State. Removing the tasting tax would further allow brewers to put more money back into their businesses so they can continue to grow here and create more jobs.”

Nicole Austin, President of the New York State Distillers Guild, said, "New York spirits producers rely on tastings to introduce their products to consumers and build awareness of the high quality and diversity of our craft spirits. Reducing the cost and paperwork associated with these tastings will allow distillers to focus on championing their product and growing their business. The New York State Distillers Guild supports this important step towards simplifying and streamlining distillery operations."

Alejandro del Peral, cider maker and proprietor, Nine Pin Ciderworks, the State’s first licensed farm cidery, said, "By allowing Use Tax exemptions to be implemented for cideries, breweries, and distillers that are already enjoyed by wineries, this legislation is another welcome step in growing the state's farm cider industry. Nine Pin applauds Governor Cuomo for making this a priority this year."

Statistics on the growth of New York’s craft beverage industry can be found here.

For more information about New York’s growing farm-based beverage industry, please visit www.taste.ny.gov.

Contact the Governor's Press Office

New York City Press Office:  212.681.4640

Albany Press Office:  518.474.8418