Political hangover lingers over new beer tax policy
Published Saturday, November 24, 2012 11:52AM PST
Prince George's Pacific Western Brewing is continuing to make beer, despite earlier threats that it would have to run off the taps Friday unless the government changed policy to ensure it wasn't hit with a massive tax bill simply for out growing its micro-brewery status.
The Liberal government says it's poised to announce tax changes next week that would address the problem, but the proposed changes have left Deputy Premier Rich Coleman with a political hangover.
Officials in Coleman's office say an inadequate version of the tax policy was issued on Nov. 14, upsetting major brewers and forcing Coleman to deny questions of political favouritism.
Coleman's officials say a new policy is being developed that includes fair taxation for smaller brewers that still allows them to expand.
Coleman's motives were questioned this week at news his Langley riding held a fundraising auction for the Liberals that included two trips to the Bahamas worth almost $27,000 donated by Pacific Western Brewing's president Kazuko Komatsu.
Coleman's ministry officials did not confirm reports that the original, but now inadequate policy would have resulted in tax savings of about $10 million for the smaller breweries.