SIX NATIONS – According to the province, Lee’s Variety and Gas Bar located on Highway 54, Status Cards are no longer accepted for tax exemption on gasoline. Brian Farmer, owner and operator of Lee’s Variety, says he is at a loss as to why he alone was targeted while none of the other gas bars within the Six Nations reserve territory have been ordered to remit provincial taxes.
“I don’t really know why,” say Farmer. “I got a message one day that I am under audit and that I had to start charging provincial tax.”
Farmer has recently spent several thousand dollars converting his pump stations to meet Shell standards and adding a weather roof and new signage.
He is launching a legal challenge, but in the meantime, his gas sales and spin-off convenience store sales have taken a big hit. The other not affected gas stations along Highway 54 are bleeding off his usual clientele, and he may not get them back.
“Now, my sales are down because of the tax,” he says. “This isn’t fair at all, but if it can happen to me, it can happen to everyone here.”