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Legislation could mean big business for local distilleries

A new piece of legislation called the Distillery Excise Tax Reform Act could mean more money for Michiana's local economy.

Right now, distilleries pay a tax of $13.50 per proof gallon per year; this legislation could lower that to $2.70 per proof gallon on the first 100,000 gallons produced per year.

“It's just a very, very big burden for a small operator,” says Steve Ross, owner of Virtuoso Distillers.

Ross says spending that much money in taxes every year prevents him from expanding or promoting his product.

But if this tax cut was passed, Ross says he would use that extra money to get his products into a place like South Bend Brew Werks.

Michael Cook, Bar Manager at South Bend Brew Werks, says they're all about keeping it local.

“It's just another way to keep things in the city, keep things in the state, and keep it sourced locally,” says Cook.

U.S. Senator Gary Peters of Michigan was the first to initiate this reform act.

The distilled spirits industry directly employs over 800,000 people and supports over 1.2 million jobs, according to the release from Senator Peters.

Here's a link to a recent press release sent out by Peters regarding his reform act.

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