Legislative Tax Determination on Fermented Malt Beverages Soon Undone?

The decision from the Nebraska Supreme Court that we reported on overturning the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission’s decision to tax fermented malt beverages as spirits rather than beer has a new twist. 

Food Manufacturing is reporting that the Nebraska legislature has started the process for debate and approval of a bill to define fermented malt beverages as beer rather than spirits.

That large tax jump had citizens and lawmakers buzzing, and the Legislature debated more than 2½ half hours on the issue Thursday.
Lawmakers voted 27-7 to advance a bill defining “alcopops” as beer, keeping the tax where it is now. It still faces two more rounds of debate.
“I know this strikes an emotional chord,” said bill sponsor Sen. Russ Karpisek of Wilber. “I know we have a problem with underage drinking. But not all of these flavored malt beverages are even the same alcohol content as beer. Some are lower.
“It is the Legislature’s role, along with the governor, to set tax policy. I do not believe we should raise these taxes.”

We will keep you posted as the bill progresses, but it looks like the sudden tax increase that FMB producers saw from $0.31 to $3.75 per gallon is about to be legislatively overruled.

Ashley Brandt

Hi there! I’m happy you’re here. My name is Ashley Brandt and I’m an attorney in Chicago representing clients in the Food and Beverage, Advertising, Media, and Real Estate industries. A while back I kept getting calls and questions from industry professionals and attorneys looking for advice and information on a fun and unique area of law that I’m lucky enough to practice in. These calls represented a serious lack of, and need for, some answers, news, and information on the legal aspects of marketing and media. I've got this deep seeded belief that information should be readily available and that the greatest benefit from the information age is open access to knowledge... so ... this blog seemed like the best way to accomplish that. I enjoy being an attorney and it’s given me some amazing opportunities, wonderful experiences, and an appreciation and love for this work. I live in Chicago and work at an exceptional law firm, Goldstein & McClintock, with some truly brilliant people. Feel free to contact me at any time with any issues, comments, concerns… frankly, after reading this far, I hope you take the time to at least let me know what you think about the blog and how I can make it a better resource.

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