The Alberta Craft Distillers Association says that it has petitioned the federal government to make changes to the upcoming federal budget to alleviate the pressure on spirit makers.
According to ACDA executive director Stavros Karlos, what’s wanted is “an immediate freeze on the unfair and undemocratic inflation escalator tax applied to all categories of alcohol — spirits, beer and wine.”
And, as well, to:
“Increase our industry’s competitiveness by introducing a progressive excise tax in line with the United States.”
In the U.S., taxes are tiered based on how many barrels a distillery or brewery produces. A small distillery doesn’t face the same rates as a large multinational. A small microbrewery doesn’t pay the same rates of taxes per barrel than, say, Anheuser-Busch would.
On Thursday, Edmonton Riverbend’s Tory MP, Matt Jeneroux, made public a letter he’s written to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, where he asks for the feds to freeze the liquor tax and put an end to the annual escalator.
“The record-high inflation rates have not only seriously impacted the purchasing power of everyday Canadians, but have had a severe impact on the alcohol and hospitality industries in particular,” wrote Jeneroux. “Many of these businesses continue to struggle after three years of economic hardship during the pandemic.”
Restaurants Canada, in a statement, says “to avoid adding to the financial burdens of the foodservice and hospitality industry and mitigate the risk of losing more Canadian businesses, we ask the Government of Canada to freeze federal alcohol excise duties at their current rates until inflation and the economy normalize.” It estimates that the hike could cost Canadian restaurateurs an extra $750 million in the coming year.
Savvy AF. Blunt AF. Edmonton AF.