Founder of local brewery speaks out on proposed alcohol tax increase

Founder of local brewery speaks out on proposed alcohol tax increase

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The founder of one of the state’s top breweries says raising the tax on booze would threaten businesses like his.

“For the breweries that are already established, this is going to be a very arduous tax that can threaten their very existence to new entrepreneurs that haven’t even opened,” said Jeffrey Erway, founder of La Cumbre Brewing. “This might be a tax that will keep them from opening, unfortunately. For some of the less established breweries, this is going to be a shot in the head.”

The group “Alcohol Taxes Save Lives and Money” wants to raise the tax on every drink bought at a liquor store, bar or restaurant.

They are asking lawmakers to up the tax by a quarter a drink to raise about $150 million more a year in tax revenue.

Erway says breweries already pay the same taxes other industries pay, in addition to federal and state taxes.

“This budget shortfall is a huge one,” said Erway. “Theres no doubt about it we do need to find a way to fund our schools, but targeting single industries is not the way to do it. It needs to be a tax that is put equally on the entire population.”

A research and polling survey shows 51-percent of voters support the tax.

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