New legislation aims to give breweries, distilleries, cider makers sales tax exemption for tastings

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Gov. Andrew Cuomo and famed chef Mario Batali raise their glasses at the inaugural Taste NY Craft Brew Challenge.

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) – New legislation aims to give licensed breweries, distilleries, and cider makers the same sales tax exemption for tastings as wineries currently enjoy in New York State.

The state Senate and Assembly have passed a bill which would allow breweries and spirits producers to provide tastings without having to pay sales tax, even if they charge for the tasting.

Under current law, any wine, beer, cider, or liquor tasting that is provided free of charge is exempt from having to impose the state sales and use tax. However, wineries are granted a sales tax exemption even if they charge for the tasting.

“As the number of breweries and distilleries increases across New York, including many farm-based operations, we must ensure that we provide a level playing field for those in the industry,” Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan, (R-C-I, Elma)  said.  “Right now, these businesses don’t enjoy the same sales tax benefits provided to wineries.  That’s not fair to them or their customers.”

The legislation will now be sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for consideration.

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