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There's no beverage of moderation, only the practice of moderation.

Understanding Moderation

Part of responsible drinking is understanding that a standard drink of beer, distilled spirits and wine each contains the same amount of alcohol. It's not what you drink, it's how much that counts.

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There's no beverage of moderation, only the practice of moderation.

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For more than 75 years, the spirits industry has adhered to a rigorous set of standards for beverage alcohol advertising and marketing. Click here to learn more about the Code.

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Distilled Dispatch June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017 | Volume 2, Issue 5
 
Kraig Naasz

President’s Perspective: Mid-Year Tax Report Card


States are facing historic budget shortfalls across the nation and lawmakers are increasingly looking for additional sources of revenue to fill those gaps. All too often, some lawmakers view the spirits sector as an easy target to fund a pet project or cause. In fact, as we all know, the spirits consumer is already taxed too much.

I am pleased to report that the Council has a successful mid-year report with several significant wins on the tax front. Just last week, the Kansas legislature adjourned the 2017 session with a threat removed from the state budget bill.

A final package relied on significant tax hikes, including the rollback of Governor Brownback’s signature 2012 tax cuts, to close the state’s budget deficit and meet court-mandated school funding requirements.

Multiple attempts throughout the session to double alcohol taxes from 8 percent to 16 percent, demonstrate just how significant of a threat the sector faced. In addition, the House Speaker attempted to reintroduce the 100 percent tax hike during a conference committee in the last weeks of the session.

In conjunction with our coalition partners, the Council worked to successfully keep alcohol taxes out of the final agreement, but it was an all-out effort that lasted until the final gavel. Importantly, this Kansas tax win equates to more than $10 million in savings to suppliers.  

The success in Kansas follows defeated tax threats in 10 other states including California, Indiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming. These wins combine for a total of $155 million in saved supplier revenue.

The budget crisis facing states and localities is real and does not appear to be subsiding anytime soon. While we are always willing to work with lawmakers to find new ways to generate additional revenue for states and localities, we are very clear that the spirits sector already pays more than its fair share in taxes. 
 
 

NIAAA Releases 2017-2021 Strategic Plan

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recently published its strategic plan for the next five years, which is used by the entire alcohol research community for guidance. The plan includes the standard drink graphic featured below and a graph showing declines in alcohol-related traffic fatalities.

For more information, please contact Council Senior Vice President of Scientific Affairs Sam Zakhari at (202) 682-8837 or samir.zakhari@distilledspirits.org
 

Council Meets with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

Council Senior Vice President of International Affairs Christine LoCascio recently met with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to discuss the benefits of trade and USDA’s export promotion programs to U.S. agriculture, particularly for the distilled spirits sector. LoCascio participated in the meeting along with other Executive Committee members of the U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council. She noted that distilled spirits are high-valued added agricultural products and that export markets have become increasingly important to small, medium and large U.S. spirits producers.  

For more information, please contact LoCascio at (202) 682-8894 or clocascio@distilledspirits.org.

Council Senior Vice President of International Affairs Christine LoCascio and fellow members of the  U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council meet with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
International

Massachusetts Alcohol Task Force Receives Council Guidance on Modernizing Marketplace

Council Vice President for State Government Relations Jay Hibbard recently testified before the Massachusetts Alcohol Task Force on the current state of the beverage alcohol marketplace and offered suggestions to better serve consumers. Issues highlighted during the testimony included the use of private labels, retailer coupon/loyalty programs and the need to repeal the Massachusetts “franchise protection” law.

For more information, please contact Hibbard at (207) 831-8285 or jhibbard@distilledspirits.org.

Council Vice President for State Government Relations Jay Hibbard testifies before the Massachusetts Alcohol Task Force in Northampton, Mass.
International

Distilled Spirits Council Cohosts Fundraiser Benefiting Washington State Charities

The Distilled Spirits Council cohosted a fundraiser benefiting charities founded by former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and Ambassador to Japan Thomas Foley.

Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and the Washington state congressional delegation were in attendance. Several representatives of the Japanese ambassador were also present. 

The event benefited the Washington State University Foley Institute for Public Policy & Public Service and The Mansfield Foundation’s Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Thomas S. Foley Legislative Exchange.

Council President & CEO Kraig R. Naasz, who is a WSU alum and current board member, with Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi at a benefit for the Washington State University Foley Institute for Public Policy & Public Service and The Mansfield Foundation’s Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Thomas S. Foley Legislative Exchange.
International

NIAAA Ninth Annual Jack Mendelson Honorary Lecture Features Council Science Advisory Committee Member

Distilled Spirits Council Science Advisory Committee (SAC) member Dr. Gyongyi Szabo was recently honored by giving the Ninth Annual Jack Mendelson Honorary Lecture and received an award from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Dr. Szabo is currently Editor-in-Chief of Hepatology Communications and director of the M.D./Ph.D. program at the University of Massachusetts Medical school. The purpose of this lecture series is to honor an outstanding alcohol investigator whose clinical research makes a substantial contribution toward increasing our understanding of the effects of alcohol on health and well-being.

Dr. Szabo’s work has led to important discoveries in understanding alcoholic hepatitis, the development of treatments for liver injury and the creation of standard definitions to aid in collecting common data elements for use in future clinical trials. In addition to her current advisory roles, Dr. Szabo was a member of the NIAAA Advisory Council from 2009 to 2013 and served as president of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

The Council's SAC, which includes leading scientists from around the country, was created last year to provide the Council with guidance on new scientific developments.

For more information, please contact Council Senior Vice President of Scientific Affairs Sam Zakhari at (202) 682-8837 or samir.zakhari@distilledspirits.org

Council Science Advisory Committee member Dr. Gyongyi Szabo gives the ninth Annual Jack Mendelson Honorary Lecture at the National Institute of Health.
International

Distilled Spirits Council Debuts New Member Data Reporting Benefit

The Distilled Spirits Council has initiated a new member service involving the collection of depletions reporting data from participating member companies. This new, monthly data set provides a rare glimpse at top-line on-premise and off-premise market trends by state and is available to all participating member companies.

For more information, please contact Council Manager of Industry Data Rob Schwarz at (202) 682-8867 or rschwarz@distilledspirits.org

International
Council Vice President for State Government Affairs Jay Hibbard thanks Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy at the Democratic Governors Association for his efforts attempting to end the state's minimum bottle pricing scheme.
International
Council Vice President of Federal Government Relations Kelly Poulsen and Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) at a Distilled Spirits Council's Political Action Committee (DISPAC)-sponsored specialty cocktail fundraising reception. Rep. Ross and attendees enjoyed a range of signature cocktails that showcased members’ spirits, including Rep. Ross' selection of the Moscow Mule.  
Council Vice President of Federal Government Relations David Culver, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Diageo’s Erica Johnson and Mike Bertman at a fundraiser hosted at the Diageo House on Capitol Hill.
 
UPCOMING EVENTS
Calendar

June 20 & 21
Distilled Spirits Council Annual Public Policy Conference
Washington, D.C.

 
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