B.C. corks luxury tax for premium wines

After protests from restaurants and wineries, Justice Minister Suzanne Anton scraps increase for bottles retailing for $20 or more

Wineries and restaurants pushed back on the plan to increase the tax rate on wines retailing for $20 a bottle or more.

The B.C. government has put a cork in its plan to charge a higher tax on higher-end wines.

“Since we released our wholesale pricing model in November, we’ve heard concerns from the industry about the pricing structure for wines over $20 a bottle,” Justice Minister Suzanne Anton said Friday. “We are reducing the mark-up for this category – levelling out the wholesale price for wines that would have been impacted.”

A major concern for wine stores and B.C. restaurants was the change to the province’s wholesale pricing formula for wine that ends the discount advantage for independent wine stores.

It meant little change or even cheaper prices for wines that now cost $15 and under. But the final retail price of pricier bottles was expected to rise sharply starting in April, in both private and government stores, and in restaurants.

B.C. Restaurant and Foodservice Association president Ian Tostenson said restaurants must pay retail prices and usually charge their patrons double, so the price of a premium bottle when having dinner out would have jumped 10 to 20 per cent.

The change to a single wholesale price for every product takes effect April 1, the same date B.C. is permitting private or government liquor sales in separated spaces inside grocery stores. Another change to allow only B.C. wines to be sold directly from grocery shelves has attracted a U.S. challenge under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Currently the Liquor Distribution Branch, the government monopoly wholesaler, sells products to government stores at cost and sets a minimum price for all retailers. The wholesale price for private retail stores is 16 per cent less than the government retail price, rural agency stores pay 12 per cent less, and stores that sell only B.C. wine get a 30 per cent discount.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rio Tinto responds to U.S. aluminum import tariffs

The tariffs were imposed by President Donald Trump Aug. 6

‘GoFundMe’ page created for Vanderhoof women who were in a brutal accident last month

Sasha Mortensen and Jessica Raymond were hit by a pick-up truck July 29, while in an embrace on Keith Road next to Plateau Mill.

Vanderhoof sees a surge of scam callers

Residents have received multiple unknown phone calls from a person claiming to be a representative of the CRA or law enforcement, local mounties said.

Brucejack mine fatality identified

Patrick Critch was from Newfoundland

Pretivm Resources reports fatality at Brucejack mine

The isolated incident occurred last Friday, and the employee passed away on Sunday in hospital

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

‘We don’t make the rules’: Okanagan pub owner says staff harassed over pandemic precautions

‘If you have six people plus a baby, guess what? That’s seven’ - West Kelowna Kelly O’Bryan’s owner

T-Rex earns big bids at B.C. dino auction

Over 500 dino-themed lots sold to buyers from across North America

Remembering Brent Carver: A legend of Broadway who kept his B.C. roots strong

Over the years, the Cranbrook thespian earned his place as one of Canada’s greatest actors

Most Read