2023 Legislative Wrap
These are the major bills we followed on behalf of our membersin the 2023 session In all, there were 40 bills we tracked. You can see all the bills here https://www.nmrestaurants.org/legislative‐tracker/
SB121 ‐ TEMPORARY GRT DEDUCTIONS FOR RESTAURANTS – Creates a temporary GRT deduction for food and beverage establishments that did not receive the Federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Gives a four‐month GRT credit to those venues. This was not ultimately included in the final budget bill.
HB 230 ‐ LIQUOR TAX RATES AND DIFFERENTIALS – This bill would increase the excise tax on alcohol to$.25 per drink. This would have been an increase from $1.70 to $5.50 per liter on a bottle of spirits and an equal increase on beer and wine. The bill was heard on Monday in the House Tax Committee and was tabled. This Liquor Tax was finally included in the NM Budget at what is around a penny per drink more than before. Local Breweries, Distilleries, and Wineries were carved out of the increase.
HB 25 ‐ MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE & INDEXING MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE & INDEXING – Increases Minimum Wage to $15.50, then adjusts to CPI. Died for lack of support.
HB 28 ‐ STATE MINIMUM WAGE COST‐OF‐LIVING INCREASE. NMRA worked with the sponsor on an amendment to cap the CPI at 4% and supported this increase. Tabled in committee.
SB 11 ‐ PAID FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE ACT – The Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) benefit creates a super‐fund paid for by new taxes on employers and employees to allow eligible employees a medical benefit of 12 weeks of paid time off annually. Tabled in House Committee. Shenanigan’s continued after the tabling. This will come back with a vengeance next year. NMRA should discuss if we want to work on our own bill.
HB 364 ‐ ALCOHOL DELIVERY, LICENSES & AD MONEY – This bill changes the delivery rules to make licenses for delivery of alcoholic beverages easier to obtain for all license holders. License holders are not allowed to take money to advertise one product over another preferentially. This bill would allow large grocery stores throughout the state to contract with third‐party delivery companies holding delivery licenses for the delivery of alcoholic beverages alongside grocery orders or on their own. prohibits licensees from accepting advertising money from suppliers in exchange for the preferential listing of a product in that licensee’s delivery ordering system. Passed the House and the Senate, Waiting on the Governor.
HB 340 LIQUOR CONTROL CONTAINER SIZE LIMIT – This bill would allow miniatures to be sold in NM again. This bill never moved.
SB 220 ALCOHOL & SUBSTANCE ABUSE PREVENTION FUND ‐ redistributes tax revenue from the Liquor Excise Tax to counties for alcohol and substance use prevention and treatment. SB 220 creates a new fund, County Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Fund. This bill paused in the Senate.
SB 61 ‐ LIQUOR TAX TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FUND ‐ Creates a new fund, the domestic violence victims fund. Adjusts the liquor excise tax distributions to include 49.5 percent of receipts to the domestic violence victim’s fund. Converts the liquor tax rate to a per‐serving basis. Enables all counties to impose a tax Local Liquor Excise Tax. Moved out of Committee with a No Recommendation. Passed one committee without Recommendation.
SB 243 – PLASTIC WASTE REDUCTION ACT – Negotiated that restaurants can use plastic bags for prepared takeout food with a high liquid content that is intended for consumption away from a restaurant premise. Stalled in the Senate & House ran out of time
2023 Legisltive Wrap Presentation
2023 NMRA Legislative Agenda
The Federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) was a $2.8 Billion dollar federal fund that was administered by the SBA on a first-come, first-serve basis.
1500 NM Restaurants applied for the fund.
600 NM restaurants received the fund, which allowed them to pay off their pandemic debt.
928 NM restaurants applied for but did not receive the money and are straddled with an average debt of $160,000.
STATE RESTAURANT REVITALIZATION PACKAGE:
We are asking the legislature to provide relief for the restaurants that did not receive the Federal Restaurant Revitalization (RRF) money.
1. Renew the GRT Holiday Tax Credit for four months for those businesses that did not receive the federal RRF. This holiday was granted by the legislature in 2021 when the industry was just coming out of the pandemic.
2. Support funding to connect the industry to the 39 CTE programs across the state that focus on restaurant management training.
3. Consider the creation of loan extensions for loans that were given through the NMFA during the pandemic. Some businesses were burdened with balloon payments after only three years on loans from the state.
Paid Family Medical Leave
Many businesses are just one disaster away from closing down – and increasing their taxes again could be devastating for them and their employees! In addition, inflation is creating a strain on everyone, and this is just one more cost New Mexicans cannot afford. The PFMLA would take an additional .5% of all employee’s wages, and employers would pay an extra .4% of all wages paid. Businesses in our state already have difficulty adjusting to and dealing with the significant costs added by the Healthy Workplaces Act. Adding another costly tax on New Mexicans will only serve to further disenfranchise struggling local businesses. We ask you to oppose Paid Family Medical Leave.
Minimum Wage & Tipped Wage Increases
NMRA is opposed to increases in the minimum wage and the elimination of the tipped wage. New Mexico has seen significant increases in minimum wage in recent years and the restaurant server community have been vocal in their defense of the tipped wage. We ask the legislature to forego minimum wage & tipped wage discussions this session.
Increased Funding for Tourism Advertising
We support investing in tourism marketing to bring in new dollars, create new jobs and showcase our beautiful state. The New Mexico Tourism Department has clearly demonstrated that marketing New Mexico outside the state has huge benefits for the state’s economy. For every $1 spent in tourism advertising, we see $3 in state and local taxes and over $30 spent in local economies.
Bail Reform & Pretrail Detention
Crime is a real problem in New Mexico and has a tremendous impact on the tourism and hospitality industry. As an industry we are concerned with the impact crime has on the security of our establishments, the safety of our employees and the negative image of New Mexico as a destination. Much needs to be done to curb the crime spree in Albuquerque. We support any substantial criminal reform that will help reduce property crime and violent crime.