As a restaurant owner or manager in New Mexico, staying on top of recent legislative and regulatory changes is crucial to running your business smoothly at the state level. In the past few years there have been several changes that impact how our members do business. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most significant developments affecting the restaurant industry:
Minimum Wage Updates
New Mexico’s minimum wage landscape is a bit of a patchwork, with varying rates across different regions. In 2024, the statewide minimum wage will remain at $12 per hour, with a $3 per hour tipped wage. In Albuquerque, the base wage will also stay at $12 per hour in 2024, but the tipped wage is higher at $7.20 per hour. Meanwhile, Las Cruces will see a slight increase to $12.36 per hour, with a tipped wage of $4.95 per hour. Notably, Bernalillo County has not performed the required update to their minimum wage since 2022. Santa Fe and Santa Fe County both currently have a minimum wage of $14.03 and plan updates for March.
Minimum Wage in New Mexico
Paid Sick Leave
As of July 1, 2022, all New Mexico employers are required to offer paid sick leave to their employees. This equates to one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 64 hours per year. This leave can be used for various purposes, including personal health, medical care, or addressing domestic abuse issues. Importantly, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees for using this benefit or mandating that they find replacement workers. NMRA has resources and a webinar with the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions to help makes sure your restaurant is compliant.
Paid Sick Leave
Starting in July 2021, restaurants with a beer and wine license gained the ability to deliver alcohol alongside food orders, provided they adhere to specific rules. These rules encompass verifying the purchaser’s identity and age, maintaining a minimum $10 food purchase requirement for alcohol deliveries, and limiting the quantity to standard measures. Delivery drivers are also required to possess a server permit and complete alcohol delivery training. Note, that no alcohol deliveries can be made to businesses, schools, or dormitories. Furthe1more, licensees cannot use a third paiiy alcohol delivery service unless the third party delivery service is separately licensed by ABC.
Alcohol Regulation Quick Links
Alcohol License Changes
Also in 2021, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill that introduced a new liquor license for restaurants, permitting the service of spirits in addition to beer and wine. The beer and wine only restaurant license is called a Restaurant A license and a beer, wine and spirituous liquor license is called a Restaurant B license. A Restaurant B License shall not serve more than three, 1 ½ ounce drinks to any person during one visit to a restaurant. A Restaurant A Licensee (beer and wine only), that has had the license for more than 12 months can get a license to sell NM Spirituous liquor for a fee of $500. For these licenses one must have a current valid food service license, the primary source of revenue must be from food and not from liquor with a 60/40 split and sales shall cease at 11:00 pm.
Alcohol Regulation Quick Links
Tax Reporting System
The Taxation and Revenue Department made a significant change in 2021 by replacing its Combined Reporting System (CRS). The updated system now offers separate returns tailored to various tax categories, including withholding, gross receipts, and other business tax programs. This enhancement simplifies the tax reporting process and facilitates better management of tax accounts for businesses. Furthermore, the new system incorporates improved internal automation, resulting in quicker processing of refunds. Instead of using the old CRS numbers, taxpayers now file under a Business Tax Identification Number (BTIN). The Department also introduced a more user-friendly interface for its Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) e-filing portal. Answers to frequently asked questions are available on the Department’s website.
CRS Redesign Project : Taxation and Revenue New Mexico
These updates are vital for restaurant owners in New Mexico, but specific changes may vary based on your location and business type. Staying informed and adhering to these regulations is essential to avoid fines, penalties, and legal issues. You can find more detailed information and resources on the NMRA website and by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.
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