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Indiana distilleries may face massive tax increase next year

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Distilleries across the state are faced with a 400% federal tax hike in January 2021.

Many craft distillery owners have already been struggling during the pandemic and will be forced to make tough decisions if they don’t get relief.

Sun King Spirits, 8th Day Distillery and West Fork Whisky Company are three out of 12 businesses that have signed a letter to Congress asking for help.

David McIntyre, owner of West Fork Whisky Company, told News 8 he wants lawmakers to pass the Craft Beverage modernization and Tax Reform Act so there won’t be a massive tax increase.

McIntyre said he’s done so much for his company to stay afloat during the pandemic, like curbside pickup, offer new menu options and apply for loans.

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“Our entire business model changes with the lockdowns and just the way the pandemic has affected the country,” McIntyre said.

Craft distillery owners said they will be forced to furlough employees or permanently close if the tax hike takes effect.

“Paying that much in excise tax would cripple many distilleries and then you’ll also see consumers suffer from the consequences of that because the only way to get through it will be to increase the price on all of our products to make up for that tax,” McIntyre mentioned.

The West Fork Whisky Company owner said he and others are also urging Congress to support the RESTAURANTS Act, which provides grants for payroll, rent and other expenses.

“My goal is to never have to furlough or let any employees go, but a 400% increase in taxes is pretty substantial,” added McIntyre.

Meanwhile, he and other owners are still asking for the community’s support.

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