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Local distillery excited for new benefits of tax reform bill

THREE OAKS, MI. -- On Friday, President Donald Trump signed the GOP tax reform bill.

The highly controversial tax plan has rocked and divided the country, but some in Michiana are celebrating. 

The alcohol industry is in the spotlight, as beer, wine and spirit producers rejoice that they'll soon be cashing in.

"This is a historical time in the distilling business. And after all of these years, [it] looks like we're getting a little early Christmas present," says Bill Welter.

Welter is the founder and owner of the Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks. 

"We've always paid the same tax rate as the big guys," he says.

The newly signed tax reform bill will change how much these businesses are taxed.

And for smaller producers, like Welter, it's a big deal.

"We'll go from $13.50 a proof gallon to $2.70 a proof gallon," he explains. "So off the top of my head, we'll go from $2.70 a bottle to about 50 cents. We'll save a little over $2 a bottle.

That's a lot of money that will be saved up.

Welter is excited for what these changes could mean for his distillery and restaurant.

"It's significant especially for a small business like ours. Any amount of savings goes a long way, especially when you invest everything back into it," he says.

And putting money earned, back into business, is something Welter says, can truly change a business' success. 

"99/100 distilleries are going to invest back into their businesses and create more jobs. Ultimately, that's creating more tax revenue over the long run," he adds. 

He's planning to use the savings to provide healthcare for his employees and expand the business.

Welter believes this change could only mean good things for businesses in the country.

"I think it's great for the economy. I think it's going to boost the craft distilling industry," he says. "Obviously it's going to impact the beer and wine industry, too, because they're getting a reduction as well."

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