RICHMOND, Va, (WVEC) -- There is a new proposed bill at the state level that will have distilleries across the state raising their glass.
It would drastically lower taxes on spirits sold in tasting rooms.
William Smith Dodson Jr. has been pouring alcoholic beverages at Eight Shires Colonial Distiller in Williamsburg for the past two years, and he has yet to make a profit. He believes part of the problem is the high taxes.
"We're taxed at over $30 per gallon of alcohol while beer is only taxed at about 28 cents, it's such a dramatic difference that it's hard to make a profit in the industry as a distiller," said Dodson.
Dodson said 69 percent of the state taxes go toward a markup or warehouse fee. Most distilleries don't even use warehouses, they make the spirits on location.
"So what we are saying is if we are making it, we are selling it, we are doing all the overhead, why are you collecting all this money because you are not sending it back to the taxpayers," said Dodson.
The bill has been put forward and would wipe out that markup tax for 57 distilleries in Virginia.
"Instead of $10 a bottle we would get $17 a bottle back, it would make us as distillers in Virginia much easier to compete," said Dodson.
Dodson said it's tough enough starting a distillery from scratch, and any help from the government is appreciated.
"It would help a lot if we could have more money to plow back into the business to help grow the business," said Dodson.
This bill, SB 803, has already passed through the Senate and now heads to the house.