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Gillibrand pushes for tax exemption to boost NY wine and craft-beverage sales to Canada

By Eric Reinhardt

Date:

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on Thursday announced her effort to change a “burdensome” tax regulation to help increase exports of New York wine and craft beverages to Canada.

It’s also meant to attract more tourism to New York’s vineyards, distilleries, and breweries, according to the Democrat’s office.

In a letter to the acting U.S. Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro, Gillibrand pushed for a provincial sales-tax exemption for all wine and craft beverages grown and produced in New York.

As of now, Ontario issues a 39 percent provincial levy in addition to a customs duty paid to the Canadian federal government for anyone transporting more than 1.5 liters of U.S.–purchased wine into Ontario, according to Gillibrand’s office.

The province of Quebec issues a similar levy and duty of more than 66 percent.

At the same time, visitors to Canadian wineries can travel back to the U.S. and pay only a three-percent duty on wine exceeding more than one liter, Gillibrand’s office said.

The “burdensome” trade regulations hold New York back from selling its products to customers in Canada, Gillibrand said in a news release.

“It’s time to harness our full economic potential, take this commonsense step, and give sales this exemption so we can boost our exports, and strengthen our economy,” Gillibrand said.

Organizations supporting vineyards and agriculture are backing Gillibrand’s effort.

“Each year, our wineries welcome thousands of Canadian visitors who truly enjoy the wines and would like to take some home, but the hefty provincial taxes strongly discourage that.  By contrast, American visitors to Canadian wineries routinely bring back a good supply of the wines they enjoy,” Jim Trezise, president of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, said in the release.

The inequity puts New York growers and producers at an “extreme competitive disadvantage,” Dean Norton, president of the New York Farm Bureau, added.

 

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com

 

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