Alberta appeal on unconstitutional beer taxes to be heard today
- The Alberta government is appealing a decision by the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench ordering the government to give back revenues collected under an unconstitutional tax law
- The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is intervening to uphold the lower court decision and ensure the money is paid back
CALGARY, AB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is going to court to force the Alberta government refund beer taxes it collected through an unconstitutional law. The CTF will be participating as an intervener in today’s appeal of Steam Whistle v. Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, in which two out-of-province beer companies successfully challenged unconstitutional legislation imposed by the Alberta government.
“The Alberta government collected $2 million in beer taxes based on an unconstitutional law, but it doesn’t want to give the money back even after the legislation has been struck down,” said CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick. “When Canadians get overcharged by government, the government should have to give back the money and we’re happy to go to court to help defend that principle.”
In June 2018, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench ruled that two changes to mark-up rates on craft beer produced outside Alberta were
“When governments take money they are not entitled to take, they cannot simply keep the proceeds after the law is struck down,” said Wudrick. “Taxpayers deserve the certainty that if they face an unlawful tax, they will get their money back.”
The CTF is represented by one of Canada’s top interprovincial trade lawyers, Benjamin Grant of Conway Baxter Wilson.