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

Council agrees to pay for fence around Mission Legion

Building has been hit by vandalism and grafitti

New Abbotsford transit depot one step closer, despite objections from neighbours

Residents worried about noise, light and effects of pile-driving on their foundations

VIDEO & PHOTOS: Iron Mountain Music Festival delights Mission music fans

Inaugural event featured two days on non-stop musical entertainment

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

PHOTOS: Mission firefighters help mentor kids

Big Brothers Big Sisters Local Heroes daycamp took place and kids on the waitlist had great fun

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Glow Langley returns bigger and brighter this Christmas

Organizers will also introduce Harvest Glow — a celebration of autumn

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

BC Games marks 40 years in 2018

Cowichan Games a milestone for BC Games Society

Most Read