O'Keefe angry over NLC grant cut

St. John's mayor Dennis O'Keefe is angry that the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation has cut its grants in lieu of taxes to the province's municipalities.

Mayor says it's 'shameful' that the corporation is making huge profits

St. John's mayor Dennis O'Keefe 2:07

The mayor of St. John's has some sobering comments for the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation.

The NLC has cut its grants in lieu of taxes to municipalities across the province. That equates to a loss of $110,000 a year for St. John's.

Dennis O'Keefe said it's shameful that the corporation is making huge profits, and thinks it should pay up.

"I think their [NLC] profit last year was something in the $140-million amount," said O'Keefe. "Here we have NLC stores all over the city and around the province, making tens of millions of dollars, and they turn around and all of a sudden absolutely refuse to pay their taxes."

"Who the hell do they think they are?"

O'Keefe said he plans to meet with municipal affairs minister Kevin O'Brien to discuss the issue.

Grant not obligatory, says NLC head

Meanwhile, NLC president and CEO Steve Winter said the previous arrangement was a form of double-taxation.

"We are paying taxes to all these municipalities because we are leasing premises in them," said Winter. "So really, we've been paying double taxation for a while, and we just drew a line in the sand and said it's time that we stopped doing that."

Winter also said that as a Crown corporation, there never was an obligation to pay tax to municipalities. He estimated the move will save the NLC about $250,000 a year.