PRESS RELEASE: Passage of CIDER Act in Senate Finance Committee

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The United States Association of Cider Makers Announces Passage of CIDER Act in Senate Finance Committee

The federal legislation aimed at assisting the growth of the industry now awaits action on Senate floor.

Washington, DC (PRWEB) February 26, 2015

The United States Association of Cider Makers (USACM), the national trade association of the cider industry, is pleased to announce that the CIDER Act, federal legislation aimed at assisting the growth of hard cider in the United States, has passed the Senate Finance Committee and is now awaiting action on the Senate floor. This is the first step in bringing reform to the existing laws governing the making of hard cider, which are outdated and hindering American competition in this industry.

"On behalf of entire United States cider industry, I want to thank Senator Schumer (D-NY) for his persistence in bringing the CIDER Act for an initial vote in the Senate Finance Committee. With the support of Finance Chairman Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Wyden (D-OR), the CIDER Act was reported from committee with unanimous support, and I am hopeful that we will see continued movement on the legislation in the near future," said USACM President Mike Beck. "The changes in the federal tax code that would be made by the CIDER Act really are a response to the market, and would help this industry grow and create jobs and economic development," he stated.

With the bill having passed the Finance Committee, "The CIDER Act has now cleared a major hurdle, and I will not stop pushing until this legislation has come to a full floor vote and received the President's signature," said Senator Schumer. "Right now, federal tax laws make it extremely costly to produce, market and sell hard cider products, thereby preventing apple growers and cider producers in New York and across the country from fully benefiting from the stable income that comes with this product. There is incredible economic potential here that we must tap into. That is why I have not stopped fighting to pass the CIDER Act, which would finally update the definition of hard cider in the tax code by ensuring all products can be labeled and taxed for what they actually are, all while increasing growers' and producers' ability to compete both at home and overseas."

The CIDER Act would amend the section of the Internal Revenue Code (26 USC Section 5041) to allow hard cider makers increased flexibility in their final product without the possibility of facing increased tax liability. Specifically, the legislation would (1) increase the carbonation level for cider, thereby meeting consumer expectations, (2) include pears in the definition of "hard cider," and (3) align the alcohol-content standard for cider with the natural sugar content of applies. The legislative changes made by the CIDER Act would ensure that cider is taxed consistently.

"Our industry is growing, and it is imperative that Congress recognize the need for these changes to ensure continued expansion. I look forward to working with the Senate and the House to send the CIDER Act to the President for signature sometime this year," concluded Beck.

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The USACM is an organization of cider and perry producers in the United States. It gathers and shares information about cider production, cider regulations, and cider apple growing, to help members improve their operations, raise awareness, and advance cider in the market. The organization was founded in February, 2013 at "CiderCon," the third annual gathering of Cider Makers from across the US.

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