The bill would allow microbreweries to make up to 15,000 barrels of beer a year without being bumped up to the next tax rate. Currently, microbreweries can only make 5,000 barrels per year and stay at the lowest rate.
The difference is big; the rate for the microbreweries under 5,000 barrels is $0.08 per gallon. But the next excise tax rate is $0.41 per gallon.
“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 covers the small, microbreweries, not the large package beer companies.”
New Mexico has many small breweries. The New Mexico Brewers Guild website lists over two dozen breweries in the state. This does not necessarily mean all would benefit from the change.
The Taxation and Revenue Department says that six local brewers could benefit from the change, which could cost the state $830,000 in 2014 to $1.3 million in 2017.
Photo by jekert gwapo/ flickr