2024 NMRA Legislative Wrap-Up

We’ve achieved something incredible together! The 2024 New Mexico legislative session showcased the power of collective advocacy, with 1,750 dedicated individuals like you mobilizing and sending over 95,519 emails to our legislators. Your actions played a vital role in shaping pivotal decisions and driving significant victories for workers, businesses, and agriculture across our state. 

Defeat of PFML:

  • SB 3 and HB 6, the bills proposing burdensome tax hikes for a PFMLA superfund $370 Million, faced formidable opposition thanks to you. SB 3 was effectively defeated on the House floor & HB 6 did not make it out of committee. Defeating these bills saved New Mexico’s workers and businesses .9% in new taxes on working families(including employers) and additional undue financial strain. Our conservative estimates calculate we saved the average restaurant $3,120 annually on PFML*, not including the headaches of administering the payroll tax, and replacing employees for 12 weeks. Please use the form below (or the link) to take the opportunity to thank the legislators that voted NO on SB 3 on the house floor in a win for small businesses and their employees. Thank the Legislators Who Defeated SB 3 (p2a.co)

Meat Inspection Legislation:

  • SB 37, crucial for bolstering New Mexico’s agricultural sector, passed both the House & Senate and now awaits the governor’s signature. Upon enactment, this legislation will streamline the processing and sale of locally sourced meat, fostering agricultural growth and enhancing economic opportunities within our state.

Defeat of Alcohol Taxes:

  • We also made strides with multiple alcohol tax bills. HB 179, seeking a $275 Million alcohol tax increase, faced defeat in committee. Meanwhile, HB 213, focused on restructuring alcohol taxes, was pushed for discussion during the interim. HB 179 would have increased taxes by $200,000,000. Given that there are about 2,780 liquor licenses in the state, we helped create an average savings of $71,942 per license.

As we take a moment to celebrate these achievements, let’s not lose sight of our mission. Our unified action continues to shape a brighter future for New Mexico. Let’s stay vigilant in advocating for policies that prioritize the prosperity and well-being of all residents.

Thank you for your dedication and commitment to making a positive difference in our state.

*Calculation = Average wage = $15/hr X (FTE) 2,080 hrs = $31,200/year X 25 employees = $780,000 annual payroll X .4% = $3,120

2024 NMRA Legislative Agenda

Liquor & Soft Drink Excise Taxes

On behalf of its membership, NMRA will  oppose liquor or soft drink excise taxes. These are taxes placed on liquor or soft drinks at the manufacturer or wholesale level, which in essence constitute hidden fees on New Mexicans that are regressive and create pyramiding taxation. New Mexicans already pay among the highest liquor taxes in the nation and restaurants collect nearly 10% in GRT for both soft drinks and liquor.

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.

Hospitality Workforce Development

The restaurant and broader tourism sectors are grappling with a persistent labor shortage, a challenge anticipated to extend over multiple years without strategic intervention. To address this pressing issue, we urgently seek financial support to cultivate the next generation of leaders in hospitality and create a pipeline to employment within the hospitality industry. This targeted investment will enrich the talent pool and contribute to the long-term sustainability and growth of these crucial industries. This program teaches students the fundamentals of the restaurant industry. It gives them management skills so they can work in a restaurant in high school and move into management when they graduate. With 1,800 students in 37 schools enrolled in this CTE program, the only missing link is to connect them with the restaurant industry.

Increased Funding for Tourism Advertising Support

NMRA strongly supports initiatives to obtain a dedicated funding stream for tourism marketing. NM has fallen behind surrounding states in the dollars spent on tourism marketing and advertising, yet research by the US Travel Association shows that tourism marketing dollars return $40 for every $1 to the industry and $8 for every $1 in tax revenue for the state. NMRA supports a dedicated funding stream that would allow for consistent budgeting of advertising dollars and allow NM to compete more effectively to gain tourists from domestic and international markets.

Online Licenses and Permits: Our businesses deserve a streamlined, online process for applying for and renewing various licenses and permits required for restaurant operations.

Energy Efficiency: Grants or incentives issued by the state should be targeted to help restaurants and hotels implement energy-efficient technologies.

Local Sourcing: We support policies that make it easier for restaurants to source ingredients from local farmers and suppliers.

Bail Reform & Pretrial Detention: Crime is a real problem in New Mexico and has a tremendous impact on the tourism and hospitality industry. To that end, we support criminal justice reform measures that will help reduce property and violent crime.

Regulatory Reform: NMRA supports legislation that provides for a consistent, transparent, and predictable regulatory system that protects New Mexicans, fosters a good business climate, and encourages job growth and development.

NMRA 2024 Legislative Menu

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