Liquor shelf prices to keep steady with return to PST


VICTORIA – The prices consumers pay for liquor products will generally remain unchanged with the reimplementation of PST on April 1, 2013, as liquor mark-ups will be reduced to offset the return to a 10 per cent sales tax rate on liquor—the same rate that applied before the HST was introduced.

The return to the PST and GST sales tax system means the provincial sales tax on liquor products will return to 10 per cent, from the current seven per cent provincial portion of HST. To minimize the impact on current shelf prices, the Liquor Distribution Branch will revert to pre-HST mark-up rates that were in place June 30, 2010.  

Total provincial revenue from the sale of liquor products will generally not change.

Quick Facts:

  • Currently, under the Harmonized Sales Tax, liquor has a total sales tax of 12 per cent (seven per cent goes to the provincial government and five per cent goes to the federal government).
  • When the HST was implemented in July 2010, the sales tax on liquor changed from the 10 per cent PST rate to the seven per cent provincial portion of the HST. Government increased the LDB mark-up rates to keep shelf prices constant.
  • With the re-implementation of the PST, the total sales tax on liquor will again be 15 per cent (10 per cent PST and five per cent federal GST).  

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Media contact:
Vince Cournoyer
BC Liquor Distribution Branch