Free My Rye - It's Time For Fair Tasting Room Taxes
Tasting room taxes are much higher for distilleries than wineries or breweries in Ontario. Craft distilling in Ontario is still less than 10 years old and the taxes haven't kept up with the times. One of the great things about craft spirits is that you can visit a distillery tasting room and meet the makers. All of the costs of the tasting room experience are paid by the distillery but they still need to write a cheque to the government for over half the price of each bottle sold. The tasting room tax was set at a level lower than at the LCBO (where wholesale spirit prices are taxed/marked-up around 260%), but there still needs to be parity with brewery and winery tasting rooms to grow the Ontario industry. In jurisdictions where tasting room taxes have been eliminated or dramatically reduced, there has been a boom in new distilleries opening and jobs created. When the Ontario tasting room tax began in 2017 there was also a rebate program for small distillers introduced. Now the rebate program is ending, but the tax remains.
Ontario's beverage alcohol taxes are being reviewed right now - it's time to #FreeMyRye !