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.


Just Posted

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

Hope stylist holds hair-athon for a good cause

Shayla Ross donating all proceeds of $10 cuts to the food bank

Hope arena turns green for hockey tourney

A second attempt at green ice, with proper ice paint, after food colouring experiment last year

Project Hope celebrates first birthday

Also: lego-mania comes to town, lineup of all-female comedians entertains Friday

New Hope clothing store loses $6,700 after early morning break-in

Broke Buckle Clothing Company owners hold “dirty deeds” sale after loss

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

VIDEO: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

B.C. man to plead guilty in connection with hit-and-run that killed teen

Jason Gourlay charged with failure to stop at the scene of accident, attempting to obstruct justice

BCHL Today: Wenatchee Wild goaltenders a cause for concern

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Canadian survivors, supporters rally against proposed ’60s Scoop settlement

Some have accused the government of underestimating the number of survivors

Nordic athlete Arendz to be Canada’s flagbearer at Paralympic closing ceremony

The biathlete and cross-country skier from Hartsville has raced to five medals in Pyeongchang

Most Read