Micro-distillery union demands equal tax laws for all alcohol producers

Micro-distillery union demands equal tax laws for all alcohol producers
Distillerie Comont co-owners Vanessa Cliche and Samuel Gaudette say taxes for Quebec micro-distilleries are outdated and unreasonable. (Photo : Courtesy Distillerie Comont)

By Michael Boriero

Although there was an 87 per cent increase in spirits sales from Quebec’s micro-distilleries between 2019 and 2020, the industry remains stunted due to outdated laws established during the prohibition era.
Vanessa Cliche, the co-owner of Distillerie Comont in Bedford, said the tax imposed by the provincial government on micro-distilleries puts them at a disadvantage. They are forced to pay a mark-up, roughly 52 per cent in tax, on spirits sold on their property.
“For every bottle we sell here, we have to give back approximately $37 to the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ), so we have to pay our staff, the tasting room […] the warehouse, we have to have extra to keep stock here, so everything affects us,” she said.
The Union québécoise des microdistilleries (UQMD) issued a statement on Wednesday, demanding the government revise it’s laws surrounding micro-distilleries. The UQMD stated that Quebec profits from the industry without covering any of the costs associated with it.
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