Local breweries concerned by new state beer tax

Local breweries concerned by new state beer tax

MILLVALE, Pa. — A new Pennsylvania sales tax on breweries has local owners concerned that they will have to raise prices on their beers.

A 6 percent sales tax will be added to craft beer sales in breweries. In Allegheny County, there is already a 7 percent drink tax, so altogether, each beer would be taxed 13 percent.

The new tax was supposed to go into effect in early 2019, but instead was pushed back to July.

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The co-owner of Grist House Brewery in Millvale told Channel 11 the last thing he wants to do is raise prices because of the new tax.

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"We are trying to stay in the forefront obviously because it’s going to be affecting us and eventually the prices we are passing onto consumers," said Brian Eaton. "We are hoping that it doesn’t go through and we won’t be hit with a double tax, with the Allegheny drink tax and the state tax."

A double tax could mean higher prices at the bar, and fewer brewers wanting to set up shop in Allegheny County.

"It cuts into our bottom line and we may have to increase our prices and charge more to the consumer, which means they may buy less beer which essentially means we are not going to bring in enough money," Eaton said. "If a new brewery plans on opening up, they could look up to Cranberry in Butler when they won’t have this additional sales drink tax, so they might not want to open in Allegheny County."