Hawes critical of taxation change

The Abbotsford-Mission MLA is calling for the government to take a second look at regulation change

Abbotsford-Mission’s MLA is speaking out after deputy premier Rich Coleman announced a taxation change that would aid smaller breweries.

On Wednesday, Randy Hawes criticized the BC Liberal government of essentially giving a subsidy and “big market advantage” to one company, Pacific Western Brewers (PWB), which he asserts is no longer a smaller brewery.

“This is fundamentally unfair,” said the backbench, three-term MLA who does not plan to run in the May 2013 election. “I don’t know why we’re doing this. I think this should be pulled back and changed.”

Coleman is the minister responsible for liquor policy and put forward Wednesday a new regulation which calls for the mark-up rate breweries pay to increase incrementally between annual production of 160,000 and 300,000 hectolitres.

Smaller breweries are taxed at a lower rate than big commercial operations, until this week paying a flat tax of $1.75 per litre of bottled or canned beer and $1.20 per litre of draft. That rate applied until annual production reached 160,000 hectolitres, at which point the higher commercial brewery rate applied to the entire production run.

Reaching that threshold would trigger a tax increase in the millions of dollars, and PWB of Prince George was the only B.C. producer getting close, partly from increased sales of its low-priced line of Cariboo beers.

The company asserted if the rules hadn’t been changed, that it would have had to shut down for a month.

Coleman said Monday the new system creates a sliding scale of tax rates for smaller brewers that takes them up to the commercial tax rate of big breweries when they reach 300,000 hectolitres of annual production.

This is said to benefit seven B.C.-based breweries, according to government.

The pending change prompted reaction from the National Breweries Association which in turn contacted MLAs.

– with files from Tom Fletcher and Langley Times

Just Posted

WIND WARNING: Metro Vancouver expecting 100 km/h gusts Saturday night

Environment Canada issues warns of possibly dangerous conditions

Downtown Mission: Ready to revitalize

With the bidding process underway, construction could start by mid-March

Guilty plea issued in case where man, 86, was assaulted and robbed

Hughie Stump pleads guilty to break-and-enter in relation to Abbotsford incident

Fraser Health asking taxpayers for millions more in health care capital funding

Health authority wants Fraser Valley taxpayers to triple annual contribution to $5.75 million

UPDATE: 24-year-old Lovepreet Dhaliwal ID’d as victim in targeted Abbotsford shooting

Location of shooting the same as where innocent bystander Ping Shun Ao killed in 2015

VIDEO: AND THE WINNERS ARE …

Mission Chamber announces Business Excellence Awards winners

VIDEO: Remember the Voyageurs at Fort Langley

Two-day historical festival underway

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Snow warning in effect for the Coquihalla

A snowfall warning is in effect from Hope to Merritt as slush and snow is expected on highways this weekend

Vancouver hoping free public Wi-Fi expansion will drive tourism dollars

Mayor Gregor Robertson says expansion bolsters its “leading Smart City” status

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Most Read