Schumer visits Hicks Orchard to talk cider

schumar at hicks 003By Jaime Thomas

New York state is the second largest apple producer in the United States, which creates a lot of fodder for hard cider production.

However, high taxation and vague regulations have discouraged more apple growers from making cider, Sen. Charles Schumer said, so he’s taking action.

The Brooklyn-based senator came to Slyboro CiderHouse at Hicks Orchard in Granville on Tuesday to talk about his proposed CIDER Act (cider, investment and development through excise tax reduction,) which will be introduced in the next week or two.

The act would tax cider at the same rate as beer, rather than wine and champagne. The allowed alcohol percentage for this lower rate would increase from 7 to 8.5 percent. Schumer pointed out that beer is taxed at 23 cents per gallon, while hard cider is categorized as wine and taxed at $1.07 per gallon. And if it’s carbonated, it is taxed at $3.30 per gallon.

“If we could get the tax down it would cost less for producers. It would be a huge shot in the arm for the New York cider industry,” Schumer said. “It will bring in tourists from far away, and it gives producers a stable source of income.”

Sales of domestically produced cider have drastically grown, and it will be a billion dollar industry in a few years, Schumer said.

Dan Wilson, owner of Hicks Orchard, said the scope and timing of this bill couldn’t be better. He and other growers across the country have recently formed the U.S. Cider Makers Association.

“The industry is kind of exploding right now, and this will stabilize the foundation of the industry as it grows,” Wilson said. He said hard cider currently exists in a gray area, and this bill will do a lot to clarify the definition of cider and upgrade regulations.

He said the bill, which is a good compromise, would give growers a lot of confidence, which in turn would promote more expansion.

Schumer said he cares a lot about New York’s agriculture, and his plan is about helping “make hard cider the apple of New York’s eye.”

“I think we’d be hard-pressed to find a solution better than that,” Schumer said with a smile at his pun. When others at the event asked Schumer what they could do to help, he said it was important for them to immediately reach out to local government in support of the CIDER Act.

“Hard cider is truly a value-added product; it seems like a no brainer. There will be many more of these producers if we pass this act, and I’m going to do everything I can to get it passed,” he said.

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Sentinel in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , , ,

Classifieds 07/23/14

Harold F. “Huzzy” Martell

Harold F. “Huzzy” Martell, 88, of Boardman Street, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle and friend passed away on […]

Weekender 07/18/14

Northshire Freepress 07/18/14

Lakes Region Freepress 07/18/14

Lakes Classifieds – 07/18/14

Radio controlled air show coming to Fair Haven

The Rutland County RC Flyers will be hosting its annual ‘Fun Fly’ at the Fair Haven Municipal Airport on Saturday, […]

Rec Center busy in June

If the month of June is any indicator, it appears that the Whitehall Recreation Center is in store for a […]

Officials advocate for lower speed limits

By Dan King Currently, in Whitehall any road that does not have a marked speed limit maintains the state limit […]

Scribner named code enforcement officer

By Dan King After weeks of speculation about the position of code enforcement officer in Whitehall, the expected letter of […]

Postal Service to Huletts Landing office hours

By Dan King In the fall of 2012 the United States Postal Service began a two-year nationwide process of notifying […]

Dresden to host townwide sale

The Town of Dresden will be hosting its first-ever town-wide yard sale this weekend. The inaugural yard sale will take […]