HOUSE DEMOCRATS NEWS
Provides new income streams, licensing options and tax relief for NM’s struggling restaurant industry
Amidst an ongoing pandemic that has been particularly hard on New Mexico’s hospitality industry, new legislation to allow alcohol delivery and provide other benefits to local restaurants and alcohol dispensaries, passed the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee today with bipartisan support.
With bipartisan sponsorship from Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D-Albuquerque), Rep. Javier Martínez (D-Albuquerque), Rep. Rod Montoya (R-Farmington), and Rep. Joshua Hernandez (R-Rio Rancho), House Bill 255 allows home delivery of alcohol, creates a new category of restaurant liquor licenses that includes hard liquor but requires closure by 11 p.m., expands alcohol tastings, and offers a $200,000 tax deduction for existing liquor license holders.
“We must do all we can to support the restaurant, hospitality, and food service industry and home delivery is part of the modern world,” said Rep. Maestas. “While simultaneously aiding the recovery and growth of our economy, by limiting this bill to only adding spirits to existing beer & wine licenses, liquor license holders will remain secure in their investments.”
“New Mexico’s restaurants have been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rep. Martínez. “House Bill 255 creates new revenue streams to keep our restaurants afloat during this challenging time, as well as expanded opportunities to foster their success moving forward.”
House Bill 255 passed the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee with a bipartisan 6-3 vote and will now head to the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.
Alcohol deliveries must include at least $10 of food delivery, and may only contain up to 750 ml of wine, six 12 oz. containers of beer, wine or spirits, or one locally produced growler. Delivery permits can only be issued to valid dispensers, craft distillers, winegrowers, small brewers, restaurant licensees, and retailers, and for the latter two, only for facilities less than 10,000 sq. ft.
The previously discussed House Bill 8, Liquor Delivery & Licenses, was incorporated into the current House Bill 255.
Members of the public can track legislation on the New Mexico Legislature website, access committee meetings and House floor sessions via the Webcasts tab, or participate by Zoom to provide public comment on committee hearings. During the 2021 Legislative Session, the House of Representatives is focused on passing critical legislation while protecting the health and safety of the public, the staff, and the legislators.