The City of Lincoln used the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) 2021’s ongoing three-day virtual conference to encourage the province to take some tax breaks on alcohol prices for their local beverage and tourism industries.
Speaking with Ontario Treasury Secretary Peter Bethlenfalvy at the AMO virtual conference August 16-18, Lincoln officials proposed a new strategy to modernize and tax alcohol and further urged the province to promote Ontario’s restaurants through a strategy to lower alcohol prices to support.
“Lincoln is one of the top Ontario tourism destinations and our wineries are a great source of economic activity for our local restaurants and agrotourism-related businesses,” said Sandra Easton, Lincoln Mayor.
“Craft beverages and tourism are the largest segment of our local economy and employ thousands of our residents. Our wineries and restaurants need tax breaks so they can reinvest in their businesses and continue to create more jobs for Lincoln and Niagara residents, ”she continued.
Lincoln’s planning and economic development committee chairman Mike Mikolic suggested that the drive to cut alcohol taxes was not a new initiative for the city.
“This is an ongoing conversation between the city and the finance minister that we are confident will lead to improved results for this important economic sector,” said Mikolic.
He added that the wine and tourism industries are important contributors to Lincoln’s economy and that they would continue to stand up on their behalf to support general growth and prosperity.
With a population of less than 24,000, Town CAO Michael Kirkopoulos suggested that the province need to know how important the wineries are to the local economy.
“Lincoln is home to more than 50 wineries, with Lincoln beverage manufacturing jobs being more than 20 times the provincial average,” said Kirkopoulos.
“Further tax breaks are particularly necessary for the wineries and restaurants that have been hard hit by the pandemic.”