‘Keg Tax’ Raises Concern Among RI Brewers

Apr 24, 2017

The enforcement of a usage tax on kegs is posing a concern for the local beer brewers in Rhode Island. Brewers hope to address the issue in a meeting with Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee, Tuesday.

President of the Rhode Island Brewers Guild, Brent Ryan, says the kegs should be exempt from the tax the way other equipment is, otherwise brewers could suffer.

“We need more kegs if we’re going to sell more beer, and if we’re tacking on another 7 percent onto the cost of the addition to those kegs, it’s possible that several of the brewers will make the decision not to purchase those kegs as a result,” said Ryan.

McKee says tomorrow’s meeting is a first step in helping Rhode Island’s growing beer industry become more competitive with states like Massachusetts, which exempts kegs from this sort of tax.

“We’re looking at the simplest way to level the playing field between Massachusetts and Rhode Island. And that’s how you’re going to improve small business friendliness, you’re going to find examples like this and do everything you can to provide that information to the decision makers,” said McKee.

In the meantime, brewers will have to continue paying the tax on kegs until a compromise is reached.