New York State Legislators Ken LaValle and Fred W. Thiele, Jr. reported last week that the New York State Legislature has passed a law they sponsored that exempts farm wineries and craft breweries from what they called a burdensome tax filing requirement, opening the door for more wineries and breweries to set up shop in New York.
Under current state law, all beer, wine and liquor wholesalers are required to report sales made to restaurants, bars and other retailers to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. Farm wineries and craft breweries were included. The new legislation, which the Governor made part of his 2012 legislative program, would exempt farm wineries as well as craft breweries from this costly and burdensome paperwork requirement.
A farm winery license limits the holder to producing no more than 150,000 gallons annually. A farm distillery license limits the holder to producing no more than 35,000 gallons annually.
According to Thiele, because of the restricted size of these producers it is difficult for them to absorb the cost of this kind of requirement. Farm wineries and craft breweries will still be required to maintain sales records pursuant to the State Liquor Authority’s requirements, he added.
“Farm wineries and craft breweries are small and mostly family operations that have struggled to comply with this needless filing requirement,” said Thiele. “The burden and cost on business far outweighs any benefit to the state. There are other ways that the State Tax Department can obtain this information. In particular, this legislation will benefit the farm winery operations on the East End. Our wineries can better use their time to grow their businesses and promote their product rather than filling out costly paperwork.”
The legislation was supported by the Long Island Farm Bureau and will now go to the governor for signature.