Tax break for New Mexico brewers

Legislature OKs reducing excise tax on small brewers

Feb 20, 2000 - The New Mexico legislature has approved legislation providing a tax break for small brewers. The measure goes to Gov. Gary Johnson, who supports tax reductions and signed a similar adjustment for New Mexico winemakers in 1997.


The state liquor excise tax on beer produced by microbrewers (defined in this law as those producing less than 5,000 barrels per year, which includes every brewery in New Mexico) has been 25 cents per gallon. The new law would reduce that to 8 cents. Other beer is taxed at 41 cents per gallon.

Helped most particularly by Sen. Roman Maes, D-Santa Fe, the New Mexico Association of Small Brewers has had legislation introduced and passed in each of the past four sessions. Previous action included restoring Sunday sales for small brewers (brewpubs could not sell beer on Sunday unless they had a full liquor license), obtaining public celebration permits for festivals, and off-premise tasting rooms.

Among those from the brewers association most active in lobbying for the tax reduction -- which was rejected in the past -- were Brad Kraus of Wolf Canyon Brewing Co., Peter Allen of Second Street Brewery and Preston Cox of Embudo Station.

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