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Alcohol Bills Circulating in Carson City Include Production Cap Increase, Tax Increases

Senate Bill 130 — dubbed the brewpub bill — could raise the cap on craft brewery production in Nevada. Currently, craft brewers are limited to 15,000 barrels per year. The cap would triple to 45,000 under the proposal.

The Nevada Wine Coalition is seeking amendments that would extend to wineries, says Executive Director Randi Thompson.

“Currently, the law says a winery can only sell 1,000 cases of wine until they have 25% of Nevada-grown grapes in their total production,” Thompson says. “The case limit must be higher so that a winery can generate enough revenue to operate while their Nevada-grown grapes mature and can be used in their wine, which would be about 6 years.”

The case limit increase is part of the Coalition’s 2017 agenda. SB 130 is scheduled for hearing by the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee on Wednesday.

Senate Bill 181 establishes drug and alcohol treatment programs, funded by a package of sin taxes.

Under the bill, the excise tax on malt beverages would increase to 24 cents per gallon from 16 cents. The tax on other beverages would increase between 35 cents and $1.80 per gallon, according to alcohol content.

The cigarette tax would go up 60 cents, to $2.40 per pack from $1.80. Gaming license fees would increase by one-quarter of one percent.

Senate Bill 199 creates a license for estate distilleries. Distillers would be limited to 400,000 cases annually under the bill’s provisions. SB 199 and SB 181 are not yet scheduled for hearings.

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