The Alberta budget dropped with hope that the unconstitutional beer tax would be reversed, but it wasn’t.
As previously reported, the tax was implemented overnight in October of 2015, which saw prices increase for smaller brewers up to $1.05. And it resulted in small businesses having to change the way they operate – including anything from re-merchandising, to reprinting menus and even completely crossing some import beers off of the menu.
I talked to Stuart, owner of Bottlescrew Bill’s, the first pub to ever bring import beers to Calgary.
This is what he thinks of the tax:
“The non-reversal of the tax has Alberta import beer businesses frustrated and rightly so.”
It also has Richard Truscott, Vice President of the Alberta and British Columbia branch of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business frustrated but there was one thing that Truscott was optimistic about.
Unless the Alberta NDP decide to reverse the tax before July, a decision will be made in court – on the taxpayers dime, of course. Steam Whistle has challenged the government and a decision will be made in July. There are also plans by the Ontario Brewers Association to file a class action lawsuit and as Truscott mentioned, this needless tax could result in a needless trade war.
Just add the beer tax to a long list of failed NDP policies.