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Oct. 31, 2020 | Saturday
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Gates wants to give wineries a tax break
MPP Wayne Gates. (Richard Harley/File photo)

Niagara MPP Wayne Gates wants to give 100 per cent Ontario wines a tax break.

On Wednesday he introduced a bill in the Ontario legislature which, if passed, would exempt VQA and 100 per cent Ontario wines from the 6.1 per cent basic tax paid on wine sold at winery retail stores.
“The wine industry is an incredibly important part of our community here in Niagara and the economic impact of COVID-19 has dealt a massive blow,” Gates said in a news release.

“This legislation is an important step in creating a level playing field and assisting our wineries and growers during a difficult time.”
The bill, called the Supporting Economic Recovery and Renewal in the Niagara Region Act, would apply to on-site retail stores for all wineries selling VQA and 100 per cent Ontario wine across the province.

Foreign imported wine does not currently pay the same tax.

Gates, New Democrat MPP for Niagara Falls riding, which includes NOTL, introduced a similar bill in 2018.
“Frankly, we need to do a better job of supporting our wine industry and ensure they have a larger share of industry like we see in other provinces,” said Gates. “These businesses create jobs right here in our community and the impact of COVID-19 could see up to one in five wineries closing their doors.”

“From my discussions with winery owners and industry associations, this bill will provided much-needed relief at a time when many in the industry are struggling from the ongoing impact of COVID-19,” said Gates.

“We are really lucky in Niagara to have such a wonderful wine region and opportunities for education in the field at both Niagara College and Brock University. Let’s work hard to make sure it can continue to grow.”