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2015 U. Ill. L. Rev. 2141 (2015)
Taxing the Keg: An Analysis on the Potential Effects of Changing the Federal Excise Tax on Beer

handle is hein.journals/unilllr2015 and id is 2177 raw text is: 


                                                  BRYCE   PFALZGRAF*

       Beer  and the federal taxation of alcohol have brewed an interde-
  pendency  in American  history since the eighteenth century. In the last
  forty years, however, the advent of the craft beer industry has pro-
  foundly  shaped  the brewing  landscape in the United  States. In re-
  sponse  to this change, Congress has proposed   alternative pieces of
  legislation that would amend the Internal Revenue Code  and the fed-
  eral taxation of beer: the Brewers Excise and  Economic  Relief Act
  (BEER Act) and the Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding
  Workforce   Act (Small BREW Act). The BEER Act would make
  broad  cuts to the existing excise tax, favoring large and small brewer-
  ies alike. The Small BREW   Act, by contrast, would reform the excise
  tax modestly, benefitting small breweries only.
        This Note explores the future of the federal excise tax on beer
  and  its potential impact on the brewing industry and society at large.
  It begins by detailing the history of brewing in the United States, as
  well as specific changes the BEER   Act  and  the Small BREW Act
  would  have  on the existing excise tax. This Note will then perform
  economic  analyses on the two acts using theoretical and comparative
  approaches.  In doing so, it will detail the foreseeable impacts of the
  BEER Act and Small BREW Act and consider the health implica-
  tions of each proposed law.
        This Note urges that Congress adopt the Small BREW   Act. The
  Small  BREW   Act's targeted tax cuts for small breweries will enhance
  market  competition  and foster sustained success of craft beer busi-
  nesses. Given its limited scope, the Small BREW  Act will also mini-
  mize  losses of federal excise tax revenues and curtail the health and
  societal concerns associated with this proposed tax reform.

    *  J.D. 2015, University of Illinois College of Law; B.A. 2012, Economics, History, and Philoso-
phy, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. To my friends and family, thank you all for your love and sup-
port. I would not be who I am today without you. To my professors at both Illinois and Nebraska,
thank you for your dedication, expertise, and inspiration. It is because of you I have such a deep ap-
preciation for research, analysis, and writing. A special thank you to the editors and members of the
University of Illinois Law Review who selected this Note for publication and for all of the effort it
took to prepare it for print. Finally, a thank you to brewers for doing what you do and for making this
Note possible.


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