Monday, August 15, 2016

Unfiltered Brewing Sues the NSLC

(Halifax, NS) - The embattled liquor agencies in the Maritimes have one more fight on their hands. Unfiltered Brewing in Halifax is taking the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) to court over a fee that Unfiltered considers an unconstitutional tax. 

The fee that is in question is the Retail Sales Mark-up Allocation that the NSLC levies on craft brewers. This fee, that is referred to as the remittance tax by craft breweries, is 50 cents for every liter they sell directly or gives away as a sample. This fee has been in the news over the last year and I spoke to it in a blog in April called How can Nova Scotia be more Craft Beer Friendly. The fee is 150% higher for breweries than wine or spirit producers and despite promises to harmonize the fee among industries it has never happened. The Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia (CBANS) holds that the money would be better suited being reinvested in equipment and jobs rather than being absorbed in to the NSLC's general revenue. 

In Unfiltered's filing, that was shared on twitter today, they said they paid $24,000 in their first year of operation and says this fee is unconstitutional and equates to a tax that the corporation does not have the authority to levy and collect. 

The case is scheduled for September 6th at 11:00 AM at the Lower Water Street courts.