New Mexico Microbreweries Could Benefit From Tax Bill
The news about New Mexico's economy lately is bleak. The state is losing jobs, mostly in the government sector, and recent cuts in federal spending will only make matters worse. In response, at this year's legislative session, lawmakers are pushing bills that will help grow private sector jobs.
One of those growing sectors is microbreweries. At the Santa Fe Brewing Company, Mondays mean trivia night and this week their tasting room off Interstate 25 was rowdy with happy hour escapees. Ten years ago, the brewery had eight employees. Today there are more than 40 employees.
"New Mexico microbreweries are selling every drop of beer that they brew," said Christopher Goblet of the New Mexico Brewer's Guild. "Not one fluid ounce of beer is wasted, so at this point our industry is growing at an average of 12 percent annually."
Goblet is supporting a bill that would lower a microbrewery's tax rate from .41 cents a barrel to 8 cents. The rate would apply to those who brew more than 15,000 barrels, about enough to start exporting. The rate is also close to the national average, so lawmakers hope the bill will help New Mexico brewers to be more competitive.
State Senator Sue Wilson Beffort sponsored the legislation.
"What we want for small business is to think, 'What can I be some day? How can I grow? How can I hire more people?'" she said.
The bill has cleared the Senate and moved to the House. New Mexico's legislative session ends Friday.