What's going on, Albuquerque?
Tags: AFME, Bees, Boneyard, Driving, MorningFix, Slots, State_Fair
As much as I enjoy micro-brewskies, I realize there's a social and economic cost that everyone else gets to pay for if we reduce the taxation on beer to help our micro-breweries. Presently, 5000 barrels of beer (15.5 gallons per, I think) gets the reduced tax - if that's the case, then the brewery could sell 165 12 oz'ers per barrel times 5000 - and that equals 825,000 sales. That's a lot of beer already. To triple that - well, do the math. We're talking roughly reducing the tax from 4 cents per beer to essentially nothing - so that means nothing for police and social services to deal with alcohol effects. I don't have a problem with the brewery getting a tax break for selling beer at their own place, but I believe Sue Wilson-Beffort is overstating the amount of beer that is consumed on the premise of Rio Grande Brewery (and others) - that would be the tourism angle, while making it cheaper for these breweries to bottle and ship for outside the brewery sales. You shouldn't reduce taxes to near zero for products that have serious social and financial consequences to people who aren't using the product. Maybe the bill should instead tax beer using the alcohol content, so 10% beer would get twice the tax of 5% beer - a lot of micro-breweries are pushing higher octane beers these days.
This is an excise tax, correct? Which is above and beyond GRT.
Increasing the amount would allow the breweries to distribute their beer to more local restaurants and not get taxed at 3 times the rate. Why can't they do a sliding scale? 5k barrels at .08, 10k barrels at .20, 15k at .41. Remember that the microbrewers here are a small bucket in the barrel for this excise tax.
We distribute the revenue from this tax as follows:
$20,750 to a municipality located in a class A county and that has a population of more than 30,000 but fewer than 60,000 people, and
41.5% of net receipts to the local DWI grant fund.
We distribute the revenue from this tax as follows:
@ Shotsie, if you assume the increase in locally brewed beer will result in an overall commensurate increase in consumption you might have a point. BUT since the amount of fluids humans can ingest is finite it might be more reasonable to assume that production increase will result in more New Mexico Brews being consumed INSTEAD of brews sold by InBev (the global Beer Conglomocom) and their ilk. I believe this could be a shot in the arm for the local economy without necessarily increasing (and, sadly, probably not decreasing) the social costs.
@Clifton, I think you hit the nail on the head. It's designed to boost a growing, vibrant aspect of the local economy. And I agree that providing more support for "the gourmet-type beers" probably won't really increase the social cost of alcohol in any major way. Given their cost, flavor, drinkability, and availability, While drinking is drinking and its side effects exist regardless of the beverage selected, I think you could make a pretty strong argument that local micro-brewed beer probably incur fewer "social and financial consequences to people who aren't using the product" than most other kinds of alcohol...certainly people drinking to get hammered are thus far more likely to select a 24-pack of the cheap stuff or a bottle of cheap vodka than they are a 6-pack of Marble Red or a 4-pack of La Cumbre.
Also, can we take the State Fair racetrack away and give it to someone else now, please? How much dirt and obvious malfeasance has to emerge before someone in a position of power decides to pry the current gang's sticky, corrupt fingers away and move on?
So I see that the unscientific traffic study did not take into account the particular skill of drivers in Albuquerque. Because there is some crappy driving here in Albq. Truly crappy driving.
“This bill is to help build up the downtown areas in rural communities like Moriarty, where the microbrewery is an attraction for tourists and for New Mexicans alike, to visit the rural setting while enjoying the gourmet-type New Mexico beers,” bill sponsor Sue Wilson-Beffort, R-Sandia Park, said in a statement following the vote.
This bill is being sold as a "tourist" deal - as in, increase local tourism through visiting local breweries. I doubt any local brewhouse sells 850,000 glasses of beer at any of their establishments, so I'm pretty confident that this is to help the distribution of their beer to stores, bars, wherever. It's not about tourism - it's about distribution. A nominal fee (25 cents per 6-pack) to help clean up beer bottles and pick up dead bodies and do police reports isn't unfair. Especially when the product does have an effect on people who aren't drinking with the person who bought the beer.
Of course, we could apply this theory to every small business, and not tax anything until they reach, say, $3M in sales..... that would help the local economy....
So it's a tourism gambit. Maybe the State can recover some of that $209 million Spaceport cost by leasing space to a microbrewry. Stimulate downtown Upham.
Speaking of the Spaceport, you' d think Gov Martinez would be all over this:
Since we already have a useable spaceport, and don't have to shut down the beach to launch a rocket - it's a no-brainer.... (See, that's the advantage of having Big Bill - he knew how to turn on a charm offensive to lure outside money to the state.)
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