Senator Alfond’s bill would reduce excise tax on kombucha, now moves to the House
AUGUSTA – A bill aimed at reducing the alcohol excise tax on kombucha received unanimous consent “under the hammer” today in the Maine Senate.
“This fix to the excise tax will support the kombucha industry and keep Maine’s momentum in the craft beverage industry,” said State Senate Democratic Leader Justin Alfond of Portland, the sponsor of the measure. “This is a good, common sense small business bill.”
Kombucha is a fermented drink, made from tea. Maine has one kombucha manufacturer, the Urban Farm Fermentory, located in Portland. It is a drink that has been around for at least a century, and has found new popularity in the past decade. The fermentation process for kombucha produces alcohol, because of this, the drink is technically subject to the alcohol excise tax.
Regulators currently classify kombucha as a wine, triggering an excise tax of $0.60/gallon. The amended bill, LD 819, would tax kombucha at $0.35/gallon, like beer and malt beverages.
LD 819, “Exempt Kombucha from Excise Tax Imposed on Alcoholic Beverages,”received unanimous support from the state’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee and will now move on to the House for consideration.