TRUTH BE TOLD: Peters' claim on Michigan brewery tax

The facts regarding a claim you are seeing on television
Posted at 9:46 PM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-17 21:46:09-04

We continue to hold the candidates running for office accountable this election season by fact checking their campaign commercials. Today, the Truth Be Told team is looking at a commercial for incumbent Democrat Sen. Gary Peters, who is running against Republican John James.

Truth Be Told will fact check a James ad soon.

The commercial is paid for by Peters’ campaign and the ad begins with the Grand Rapids skyline.
In it, Mitten Brewing co-owner Chris Andrus says “Taxes add up fast in the craft brewing industry and Senator Peters helped us reduce that tax liability.”

In May 2015 Sen. Peters introduced the Distillery Excise Tax Reform Act a bipartisan bill aiming to reduce the federal excise tax rate on distilled spirits. While that bill did not move forward, the following month the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act was introduced, which included language pulled from Peter’s bill. He was a co-sponsor when it was introduced in January 2017.

Peters did not ultimately vote for the legislation, however, because that December it was rolled into the GOP’s Tax Bill, which he opposed because he said it disproportionately benefited the wealthiest Americans and would create new debt, putting Social Security and Medicare in jeopardy.

In 2019 when the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act of 2017 was set to expire, Peters was a co-sponsor to extend the bill and voted in favor of it as part of the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020.

Drew Ciora is the owner of Royal Oak Brewery and has been brewing for over two decades.

“If [breweries are] saving $2,000 a year, it can make the difference of an owner saying I might be able to put a couple of bucks in my pocket for the first time this quarter! Or this year, as opposed to just trying to stay afloat,” said Ciora.

“Beer, we pay an income tax on it, we pay a sales tax on it, we pay a Michigan tax on it, we pay federal taxes on it, we pay a lot of taxes on just making beer,” Ciora said.

“The fact that we’re saving a little bit of money makes a big difference,” Ciora added.