New York Wine & GrapeNews

04

Apr

The Press Deck 4-4-18 ~ Field Notes ~ Budget & Excise Tax Updates ~ Legal Seminar RSVP ~ NGWI Changes Name ~ Meet the Mind Behind the Wine ~ Upcoming Events

Valerie Ross

Category:

Dear Friends,
 
Over the weekend Governor Cuomo, the State Senate, and the State Assembly announced the passage of the 2019 State Budget. The Governor committed $713,000 and the Legislature added $310,000 to bring our total state budget allocation to $1,023,000. We are grateful for the Governor's ongoing support to advance the wine and grape industry. We also value the commitment from our many partners in the State Senate and State Assembly that also contributed to the Foundation's work to support and grow the industry. 

Winery and grower members please be sure to thank your local State Legislator when you see them in the district.
 
In particular, we would like to recognize the commitment of our legislative Agriculture Committee Chairs, Senator Patty Ritchie and Assemblymember Bill Magee, who worked with their colleagues to provide the Foundation's supplemental funding. They also allocated an additional $300,000 to support Concord Grape Research at Cornell University. I also want to extend our gratitude to Jeff Williams (NY Farm Bureau) and Julie Suarez (NYWGF Board Member and Cornell CALS) for being tireless champions of New York's agriculture industry and ensuring that agriculture interests are represented in Albany.
 
While the news from Albany is worthy of uncorking some New York bubbly, the news from Washington D.C. as it relates to the Craft Beverage Modernization Act (CBMA) is a big pill to swallow. The TTB's recently released guidance on the new law describes changes to the transfer-of-credit provision, which under pre-CBMA guidance, small producers were allowed to transfer their tax credits on wine that they produced to other taxpayers. This situation applied to either wineries that used custom crush facilities and/or bonded wine warehouses to store their case goods. Under TTB guidance, the transfer-of-credit provision will sunset on June 30th.
 
I do not profess to be an expert on the minutia of these changes and their implications. I do encourage all New York wineries to consider membership with WineAmerica because they are our trade organization in Washington D.C. working on our behalf to ensure transfer-of-credit provision does not expire and the benefits of the CBMA extend to all wineries. I also suggest reading the comprehensive post published by ShipCompliant explaining the TTB guidance.
 
WineAmerica is requesting that affected wineries send them details on how the TTB's guidance will have a negative financial impact on their business. Contact Michael Kaiser with any details via email at mkaiser@wineamerica.org. WineAmerica will be working with the Wine Institute on joint comments to represent the entire American wine industry. They expect to submit them by early April. NYWGF is also hosting a legal seminar on April 19th, and one of the presentations will focus entirely on the recently passed federal tax changes.
 
And not to sour your grapes further, but  China announced on Monday new tariffs on 128 U.S. Products, including Wine, which will be subject to a 15 percent duty. The 15% will be on top of the existing 14% duty that is placed on standard US wine, creating a 29% total tariff.
 
The United States exported nearly $80,000,000 in wine to mainland China in 2017. It was the 5th largest export market for US wine and 97% of all US wine exports are from California. Fortunately, we have an excellent team at WineAmerica that will be working tirelessly to mitigate the negative impacts of the tariffs by being a voice for the industry on Capitol Hill, so consider membership with them.

Cheers,

Sam Filler, Executive Director