SCHUMER LAUNCHES PLAN TO CREATE BOON FOR NY APPLE PRODUCERS: NEW DEFINITION OF HARD APPLE CIDER WILL LOWER TAXES ON PRODUCT, IMPROVE ABILITY TO COMPETE IN FOREIGN MARKETS, INCREASE FARMERS’ SALES
Schumer Plan Modernizes Definition of Hard Cider to Ensure All Products Can Be Labeled & Taxed Like Hard Cider, Not Wine — Allows Producers that Often Suffer from Frost & Bad Weather, to Add New Stable Source of Income
NY Has 654 Growers & Already Over 20 Hard Cider Producers– Proposal Would Boost Business for Existing Producers, Help New Growers Add Highly Popular Hard Cider to Product Line, Improve Ability to Compete
Schumer: NY Should Be at the Core of Hard Cider Production
TODAY March 13th at 12:45pm on a press conference call, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer will unveil a new plan to boost the sales for New York’s over 20 existing hard apple cider producers and allow the over 650 apple growers to expand their business and add this increasingly popular craft beverage to their product line. Schumer will explain that the alcohol content of New York’s hard cider fluctuates greatly due to sugar content, often forcing it to be taxed at a higher rate under federal law and preventing it from being labeled as hard cider. Compliance adds a significant cost and an unpredictable nature to the business, making it less attractive for potential new cider producers.
Therefore, Schumer will announce his proposal to modernize the definition for hard apple and pear cider in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) that would increase their allowed alcohol by volume from 7% to 8.5%, encompassing significantly more hard cider products and allowing them to be labeled and taxed like hard cider, rather than wine. The proposal would also address existing tax issues related to carbonation levels in hard cider, and would make the new definition match that of the European Union, so producers can better compete with products abroad. While apple prices fluctuate every season, cider is a value-added product that is sold around the same price every year; therefore hard cider gives producers a stable source of income when apple crops suffer due to weather and other unforeseen factors. New York apple producers are increasingly interested in producing smaller, artisanal batches of hard cider, but cite the cost and difficulty to comply with the IRC definition as significant impediments to expanding their businesses.