In May, the Alberta NDP imposed a $1.25 tax on all beer regardless of origin. It also brought in protectionist grants for certain brewers, which essentially pays back the added costs of the tax to breweries. But some say that both the tax and grant program combined are unconstitutional and give Alberta breweries and unfair advantage.
Breweries are not the only beer-based Alberta businesses; importers who bring in beer from outside of the province are also being impacted by the increase in taxes.
I talked to Bo, an importer at Artisan Ales, who suggests that the grant program isn’t the way to go. Other solutions that could have been implemented include providing scholarships and grants to students, and helping breweries gain access to other markets.
However, Graham Sherman at Calgary’s Toolshed brewery says the grants are more like a tax break because the government is just reimbursing companies for taxes that they’ve already paid on their product.
Due to the implementation of the unfair tax and grant system that is both unconstitutional and projectionist, Artisan Ales has an Agreement on Internal Trade challenge in the works. They’re seeking to have the tax changes mended to be fair to all businesses. A panel will soon make that decision in the coming months.
If you support free trade in Canada, please SIGN my petition against Notley's beer tax at BeerFreedom.ca