The Tavern League of Wisconsin supports Assembly Bill 717 and Senate Bill 690, authored by Senator Roger Roth and Representative Robert Wittke. Assembly Bill 717 and Senate Bill 690 create a tax exemption for income received in the form of a grant from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which was enacted at the federal level under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
As a follow-up to the Payment Protection Program under the federal CARES Act that provided loans to businesses to assist during the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress created a grant program to specifically help restaurants and taverns, many of which did not qualify for, or receive funds under the PPP program. Congress enacted the American Rescue Plan in early 2021, which provided $28.6 billions to create a Restaurant Revitalization Grant program to assist independently owned restaurants and taverns across the country.
Grants received under this program were the lifeblood of many small establishments in Wisconsin, many of which may have gone under without the assistance. Overall, it is estimated that over 15% of the restaurants and taverns in Wisconsin closed their doors for good due to the pandemic. Assembly Bill 717 and Senate Bill 690 exempt the funds received under this program from state income tax, much like PPP funds were exempted last year.