(Jan. 11/17) To help reduce its deficit, Saskatchewan is toying with the idea of removing some PST exemptions – and the restaurant meal exemption is on the chopping block.
A new 5% tax on restaurants meals would raise $74 million more in PST revenue for the province, but would drastically hurt the restaurant industry, especially in this economic downturn.
Why this hurts restaurants
A new meal tax would increase costs for restaurant guests and eat into foodservice sales. It would also make our segment of the food industry less competitive, as our closest competitors – grocery stores with prepared meals – remain tax-exempt.
The introduction of GST in 1991, and B.C.’s short-lived HST experiment from 2010 to 2012, prove just how hard a new meal tax can hurt restaurant sales growth and job creation.
What we’re doing about it
We wrote about our industry’s concerns with this proposal to Premier Brad Wall. We’ll meet with the Finance Minister before the 2017 budget, and urge him to keep treating all food equally.
You can help: Say ‘no’ to a new meal tax
Restaurants Canada has successfully kept the PST off the menu in the past. With the help of our Saskatchewan members, we ran two successful meal tax campaigns that made the previous government change its mind twice about adding the PST to restaurant meals.
Help us spread the word again. Contact your local MLA to share your concern with a possible new meal tax.
To learn more , contact Restaurants Canada’s Western Canada VP Mark von Schellwitz.