HARRISBURG – Rep. Natalie Mihalek (R-Allegheny/Washington) will be hosting a public hearing of the House Liquor Control Committee on Tuesday, April 23, beginning at 2 p.m. at the Spoonwood Brewery Company, 5981 Baptist Road, Pittsburgh.
The purpose of the hearing is to examine the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue’s recent tax bulletin, which requires Pennsylvania breweries to collect the state’s 6% sales tax on every portion of beer sold (pints, growlers, etc.). The application of this tax is set to go into effect July 1.
“I am grateful to Committee Chairman Jeff Pyle for letting me take the lead and host this hearing in my district,” said Mihalek, a member of the House Liquor Control Committee. “I believe this new tax will negatively impact our local breweries, while stifling a growing industry that provides thousands of jobs for our local communities. We have a great panel of testifiers and I am eager to hear from each one of them to further examine this issue.”
Brewery owners are not concerned with the tax itself, but rather when it is collected. As it is currently written, breweries who bypass wholesalers and sell beer directly to consumers in their tasting rooms and retail storefronts would be required to issue the tax at the point of sale. Instead, brewery owners believe that the tax should be applied at the wholesale level, which is already the case for transactions between distributors and retailers. Mihalek is currently working on legislation that would do just that.
“Local breweries in Pennsylvania are small businesses that support hundreds of communities with thousands of jobs that contribute millions in tax revenue statewide,” continued Mihalek. “A pour of their beer should not cost the consumer more at the source than it does at a local restaurant, but a fair tax on the kegs produced ensures sustainable contributions into the communities that support them.”
The hearing will feature testifiers from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, various members from Brewers of PA, the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association, and the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association.
Barring technical difficulties, the hearing will be streamed live at pahousegop.com
Representative Natalie Mihalek
40th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Brooke Haskell