There are those that believe the “three tiered system” is really a “third rail” of Georgia politics. House Speaker David Ralston suggests they are wrong. And is not so subtle to the DOR in this suggestion. The AJC reports:
“I was disappointed in what the Department of Revenue did, because I think that thwarted the legislative intent of that legislation,” Ralston said. “And I would like to see them eliminate the need for legislative action, if they would go back and revisit that, because if they don’t, we may have to.”
Legislation adopted earlier this year gave craft brewers the ability to sell facility tours and give away their product afterward — a kind of backdoor way to actually sell their beer directly to customers, something brewers have long sought. After Gov. Nathan Deal signed the bill into the law, the state Revenue Department enacted rules governing the tours. Those regulations allowed brewers to create different tour packages at different price levels.
But months later, on Sept. 25, the department issued a “bulletin” saying while brewers can offer different levels of tours, the price differences cannot be based on the value of the beer. Many breweries, however, had already begun doing just that, based on the original rules the department issued in late June and on their understanding of lawmakers’ intentions.
Let me help the DOR translate this if there’s any ambiguity: It’s a really nice agency you have there. Would be a shame if something happened to it.
Hopefully we won’t have to write about this unpleasantness throughout the session, presuming the Department of Revenue does the right thing here.