These are my concerns with this bill in its present form:
An amendment was added to 290, without the input from other shop owners, which would require all brew shops that offer samples to have an operational license and licensed bartender on hand at all times samples are offered. An operational license may only be required for a Class A or B retail establishment selling alcohol or a manufacturing outlet. A homebrew store is neither. So, a bartenders license requires a retail license, but a retail license to sell alcohol basically disallows homebrew, unless other statutes are changed. Since a homebrew store does not sell alcohol, it, by statute, cannot be required to have a permit. More has to be changed than what 290 does. If I am required to get a retail license and none is available, it costs an additional $10000.
They also agreed to striking home made wine and beer from the list of homemade alcohol exempt from tax, leaving only cider remaining:
139.04 Exclusions. No tax is levied by ss. 139.02 and 139.03 in respect to:
(1) Making of wine, cider or fermented malt beverages at home solely for consumption therein and use thereof in such home by the family and guests without compensation.
Section 2. 139.04 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
139.04 (1) Making of cider at home solely
for consumption therein and use thereof in such home by the family and guests
without compensation, or manufacturing wine or fermented malt beverages in
compliance with the limitations specified in s. 125.06 (3), (3g), or (3r).
The word manufacturing is what trips this up. Why take out the mention of making wine or fermented malt beverages at home & replace it with manufacturing wine or fermented beverages?
v. man·u·fac·tured, man·u·fac·tur·ing, man·u·fac·tures
a. To make or process (a raw material) into a finished product,
especially by means of a large-scale industrial operation.
By doing this, it leaves our Department of Revenue to say we can be taxed on beer or wine made at home, but not cider, and that a manufacturing facility would not have to pay a tax..... Making beer at home is certainly not manufacturing.
I am told this will be voted on this coming Tuesday with these changes. If it passes, it may or may not cause hardship. Why give it the chance to do so? I'd rather things stayed the way they are.