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Senator Schumer stops by F.X. Matt Brewery to talk about BEER Act

By EMMA WRIGHT

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - A new bill would cut excise tax on small breweries across Upstate New York by 50%.

The bill called the BEER Act, is sponsored in part by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, who stopped by the F.X. Matt Brewing Company in Utica on Friday afternoon to talk about the proposed legislation.

"Most of our small brewers want to expand," Schumer said.

Right now, breweries pay $7 excise tax on the first 60,000 barrels of beer they brew each year. The BEER Act would cut that tax to $3.50 per barrel. It would also take $2 off of the remaining barrels, up to two million of them.

"One of the things people don't understand is the small breweries have grown tremendously over the years," said Nick Matt of the Matt Brewing Company.

Matt says his company pays about $4 million in excise tax per year. The BEER Act would save them about $500,000.

Matt says he would use that money to hire new employees.

Last year, the bill had 20 sponsors in the house and 100 sponsors in the senate. Senator Schumer says he is confidant the bill will pass this year.

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