GRANVILLE – New York’s Senior Senator is leading the effort to make it easy bring hard apple cider products from New York State to market.
During an appearance Tuesday in Granville, NY – Senator Charles Schumer unveiled a new plan to boost the sales for New York’s over 20 existing hard apple cider producers, while also allowing the over 650 apple growers – some here in Western New York – to expand their business and add this increasingly popular craft beverage to their product line.
The alcohol content of New York’s hard cider fluctuates greatly due to sugar content, and current law often forces it to be taxed at a higher rate, preventing it from being labeled as hard cider. Compliance adds a significant financial burden to producers and consumers, and an unpredictable nature to the business, which makes it more expensive for cider producers, and less attractive for potential new cider producers.
Schumer’s proposed CIDER Act (Cider, Investment & Development through Excise Tax Reduction Act) would update the definition for hard apple and pear cider in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) that would increase their allowed alcohol by volume from 7 percent to 8.5 percent, encompassing significantly more hard cider products and allowing them to be labeled and taxed like hard cider, rather than wine. This would make it less expensive for the producers, thus bringing more of the hard cider to the market.
Schumer’s proposal would also address existing tax issues related to carbonation levels in hard cider, and would put the new definition in line with that of the European Union, so producers can better compete with European products abroad.