November 06, 2013

Manchin Supports Legislation to Lower Taxes on Hard Cider Products and Increase Farmers' Sales

Senator Manchin cosponsors the CIDER Act to tax hard cider like beer, not wine

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today announced that he cosponsored the CIDER Act (Cider Investment and Development through Excise Tax Reduction Act) to modernize the definition of cider in the Internal Revenue Code to increase the allowed alcohol by volume in cider beverages from 7 percent to 8.5 percent and to allow the use of pears as well as apples. The alcohol content of hard cider fluctuates greatly due to sugar content, and current law often forces these products to be taxed at a higher rate, preventing it from being labeled as hard cider. The change in the tax code would allow more hard cider products to be labeled and taxed like beer rather than wine.

The CIDER Act would also level the playing field in the global marketplace by changing the tax code for carbonation levels in hard cider to be in accordance with European Union levels, which would help producers better compete with European products and expand business opportunities in West Virginia and abroad.

“Any time that we can help the nearly 500 apple producers in West Virginia increase sales and support business ventures so our farmers can compete on a larger scale is simply a commonsense investment worth making,” Senator Manchin said. “I am thankful to work with my good friend Senator Chuck Schumer on this bill that will lower taxes on hard cider products, while also increasing competition at the local, state and national levels. Let’s continue to promote business growth for our hardworking farmers and reform an outdated tax that would increase the sales of delicious hard cider beverages and goods.”

West Virginia apple production was ranked 9th in the country in 2011, according to the U.S. Apple Association. The CIDER Act would positively impact the rising trend of apple production statewide.

Please review additional West Virginia apple production statistics below:

• West Virginia apple production jumped 36 percent in 2012, while production fell nationally 4 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

• West Virginia growers harvested 91 million pounds of apples in 2012, up 24 million pounds from 2011. (67 million pounds in 2011 and 64 million pounds in 2010.)

• According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average per-pound price for West Virginia apples was 25.8 cents in 2012, up 8.3 cents from 2011.

• The U.S. Apple Association announced West Virginia’s estimated apple production for 2013 will be 1.5 million bushels, which is 63 million pounds.

• West Virginia commercially grows several apple varieties, including Red Delicious, Grimes Golden, Golden Delicious, York Imperial, Rome Beauty, Stayman, and Gala.

• West Virginia’s apple production is centered in the state’s Eastern Panhandle in Berkeley, Jefferson, Hampshire and Morgan counties.

List of apple producing orchards in West Virginia:

Morgan Orchard
Monroe County

Shanholtz Orchard
Hampshire County

Mount Levels Orchard
Hampshire County

Nob Hill Orchards
Berkeley County

Mountaineer Orchard
Berkeley County

Orr's Farm Market & Orchard
Berkeley County

Walnut Hill Orchard
Jefferson County

Summit Point Raceway Orchards
Jefferson County

Warm Spring Orchard
Jefferson County

Ridgefield Farm And Orchard
Jefferson County

Jefferson Orchards
Jefferson County

McConnell Berry Farm
Monongalia County