Legislative panel hears arguments for liquor tax increase

TAOS — An advocacy group pushing for an increase in alcohol taxes in New Mexico encouraged lawmakers Tuesday to bring the issue to the upcoming special session. Alcohol Taxes Save Lives Director Peter DeBenedittis presented his findings to the Legislative Health and Human Services Committee that show many likely voters in the state are in favor of increasing taxes on alcohol by 25 cents a drink. DeBenedittis’ group recently released a poll showing 75 percent of New Mexicans are at least somewhat in favor of an increased alcohol tax. The poll also showed how many likely voters in New Mexico said they would cross party lines and vote for someone who supported raising the excise tax. In all, the poll found 28 percent said they are “at least somewhat likely” to do so.