New alcohol tax upsets restaurant, bar owners

Posted By: Shuyee Lee · 11/21/2012 5:11:00 PM

Restaurant and bar owners are hopping mad over the Marois government's new special tax on alcohol that they have found out is retroactive.

"A lot of our members are calling us today and they are in shock," said Dominique Tremblay, spokesperson for the Quebec Restaurants Association. They're denouncing the fact that the new tax applies to all stock of previously bought booze, adding it's crazy that their members were called on to do an overnight inventory as the tax kicked in and to send the cheque in by December 22.

"If a restaurant owner has 2000 bottles of wine, in his cellar, he will have to pay $750 of taxes on those bottles that he already bought," Tremblay told CJAD News.

Peter Sergakis, president of the Union of Bar Owners of Quebec, said the government is out of touch with their reality.

"I have 40 places, we're talking about thousands and thousands and thousands of bottles," Sergakis said.

"Measure the alcohol you have, and you have to adjust the taxes you're paying on it. It doesn't make sense. They're so hungry for money."

Sergakis said it'll mean thousands of dollars extra to pay for an industry that is already struggling in tough times, made a little tougher with no NHL hockey.

Photo: Flickr user Lynda Giddens

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