CIDER Act passed.
In tax legislation Congress passed in December 2015, most cider will be taxed at lower rates than wine, amending Section 5041(b)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code.
These changes were contained in the CIDER Act, originally introduced in the House of Representatives in 2013 by Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Chris Collins (as the Cider Industry Deserves Equal Regulation Act) and in the Senate, in 2013, by Senators Charles Schumer and Patrick Leahy (as the Cider Investment and Development through Excise Tax Reduction Act).
The following changes take effect in December of this year (2016):
▶ Any cider with 7 percent alcohol-by-volume (abv) or up had been taxed at $1.17 per gallon, while any cider at 6.9 percent abv or lower was taxed at $0.22. Now, with the passage of the CIDER Act, the upper abv limit will be 8.5%.
▶ Any cider containing 6.4 grams per liter of carbon dioxide or fewer (equivalent to 3.25 volumes of CO2, in other words, like a highly carbonated wheat beer or a lightly carbonated champagne) will now NOT be additionally taxed. Above that, they will be taxed at $3.30 per gallon. (The prior limit was 3.92 grams of CO2 per liter, equivalent to 2.0 volumes, in other words, like a lightly carbonated cask-conditioned ale.)
▶ As long as the abv of perry (pear cider) is 8.5% or less, perry's tax rate will be decreased from the wine rate of $1.07 per gallon, to the apple cider level of $0.226 per gallon. Above that: $1.17 per gallon. Carbonation will be untaxed, like cider, at or below a level of 6.4 grams CO2 per liter.
More at the U.S. Association of Cider Makers: www.ciderassociation.org/