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Monday, January 29, 2007

Bars in Canada Looking for Refund of Illegal Booze Tax

As U.S. states and cities race to enact per drink taxes on alcohol sold in bars and restaurants, some Canadian publicans are pushing for a refund of similar taxes after a ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The top court in Canada ruled that a special user fee that the province of New Brunswick had put in place amounted to an unconstitutional tax on liquor. It ordered the New Brunswick government to refund the tax. Some bars in Canadian provinces with similar taxes say they have paid millions over the years and now they want a refund.

The special user fee tax meant that bars and restaurants, which had to buy liquor through the government, actually paid more per bottle than Canadian citizens buying the same product at retail. Bar operators say the special user fee made it even more difficult to make money because their operations in Canada are over taxed and over regulated.


Greg Clow said...

The first time a bar owner here in Ontario told me about this fee, I couldn't believe it. It made me finally understand why alcohol prices in Ontario bars & restaurants are generally 2 to 3 (or more) times the retail price. It's a completely ridiculous set-up, and I hope this ruling leads to some changes.

Rick Lyke said...

Drinks in Canada can set you back a few funny colored dollar bills and odd shaped coins. Toronto and Montreal are expensive cities in which to come down with a hangover.