By Michael Kaiser
Today to much fanfare the White House released the FY 2012 Budget Proposal. This is the recommendation to Congress for the funding of the Federal government for the 2012 Fiscal Year. There are a wide variety of spending cuts that have been proposed by the Obama Administration in the proposal.
The TTB is facing a cut of $5,000,000 from previous years. Unlike previous budgets, there are no proposed “user fees” for TTB regulation. In the past the Bush Administration and the Obama Administration have proposed that the industry pay to be regulated through a “user fee.” The user fee was essentially a reintroduction of the Special Occupational Tax that wineries were subject to for many years.
The TTB has been struggling with budget issues for the past two years. Any reduction in funding would be detrimental to their ability to regulate the industry. We hope that TTB will be able to restore their funding to previous levels in order to best serve the wine industry and the public.