MONTREAL — A group of about 175 protesters, comprised of Quebec restaurant and bar owners, occupied Revenue Quebec’s downtown tax centre Monday to complain about a retroactive alcohol tax hike announced recently in the budget, reports Montreal’s Gazette newspaper.
Quebec small-business foodservice operators are angry with the government for having to pay a 25-per-cent tax premium on bottles in their cellars and for having to pay it retroactively.
“The industry has a bankruptcy rate of about 50 per cent for businesses in their first two years, and (profit) margins are about three to five per cent,” protest co-organizer Sandy White told the crowd, according to the Gazette. And adding this extra tax in Quebec, which already has the highest business taxes of any province or state in North America, it’s just adding fuel to the fire,” said White, a law student at Université Laval as quoted by the Montreal Gazette.
According to the paper, the protest was organized by the Quebec Nightlife Association, a group representing 25 bars and restaurants, which was formed nine months ago. The group has started an online petition to denounce the retroactive tax hike. The petition is at http://bit.ly/VrIIvP.
For more on Quebec foodservice operators opposing retroactive alcohol tax measures, visit montrealgazette.com.