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Tax Shenanigans Brewing

by on July 24, 2012

Life is the reason most people are driven to drink, especially those who choose to spend said life in New York. If you’re coping with the incessant parade of infuriating restrictions and cash gropes inflicted by this abysmally cloddish state, being regularly loaded helps.

Take how Albany harms entrepreneurship even as they think they’re helping in a style reminiscent of a drunk offering to assist with the dishes and costing you intact china. Not having to pay as many taxes sounds like a policy that favors business until the realization sets in that it only favors some businesses:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation providing tax credits for small breweries, replacing an excise tax exemption struck down by a lawsuit.

Any brewery that produces 60 million or fewer gallons in New York will be eligible for a refundable tax credit applied against state personal income and business taxes.

A handful of citizens that politicians think deserve a break get one, and everyone else can cry in their draught. On the plus side, the law enables cutting the middleman out of the magic hop juice acquisition process:

The law also establishes a license to allow craft brewers using New York hops to operate like wineries, which can sell products directly from their own retail outlets.

Getting tipsy without having to deal with wine snobs and tasting notes? We’ve finally discovered paradise, and we didn’t even have to cross state lines. If you don’t want to pay fees, don’t be too successful:

The law exempts breweries producing brands of 1,500 barrels or less annually, even breweries outside New York, from the state’s $150 annual brand label fee.

Don’t raise a drink just yet. Makers of wine, whiskey, or other hooch should get a refund as well as everyone else who makes anything. Who could argue against any manufacturer? They, along with everyone in more sober pursuits, will have to wait for a turn at being chosen by Albany’s unfortunate tap dispensers.

Cuomo is at least better at pretending to oppose odiously invasive bureaucracy than daddy. Giving tax credits sounds like a way to spur the economy by helping commercial concerns. But such policies are actually nothing more than special favors for preferred industries.

By comparison, a universally low taxation rate would attract and retain all sorts of enterprising people, including wizards who concoct wobbly pops. Keeping things even would mean no more credits for those who make beer, produce films, or own professional sports teams. That said, letting makers finance their own industries would engender a better financial environment for all. Next: support any seller you’d like with your own currency.

Brewers are great Americans and humans. But they shouldn’t receive special treatment other than to become the sort of millionaires who are asked for autographs on the street as a result of high sales. Fewer convoluted tax gyrations would mean more people to buy their wares by the case. With a less busy state contraption, New Yorkers could finally toast with happy drink in joy and not huddle around a serving of liquid numbness to cope with frustration.

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