Winemakers, NDP call for removal of Ontario retail winery tax
An Ontario New Democrat representing the Niagara Region is pushing for the government to get rid of a tax on wineries.
Wayne Gates says he plans to introduce a private member's bill this fall that would eliminate a 6.1 per cent basic tax on all on-site retail sales of Ontario wines.
It's supported by Ontario winemakers, who say that since the tax doesn't apply to foreign wines, it punishes domestic producers.
A recent Deloitte report commissioned by Ontario Craft Wineries, Tourism Partnership of Niagara and Wine Growers Ontario said the province's wineries are taxed at a rate ``not seen in any other wine-producing nation.''
Bill Redelmeier of Southbrook Vineyards said the vast majority of small wineries are not making money or are losing money and need the additional help.
Jakub Lipinski of Big Head Wines says there's a running joke in the Niagara Region that if you want to make a small fortune in wine, you start with a big fortune.
The provincial government did not respond to request for comment.