A sweeping liquor license reform bill is on its way to the Senate floor after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 5-4 to move it forward Wednesday. But the committee approved a number of amendments that changed some aspects of the bill.
Gone is a provision that would have given a $100,000 tax break to retailers who currently hold liquor licenses.
But a clause giving longtime liquor license owners who run restaurants and bars a $200,000 tax break — $50,000 per year for four years — remains. Gone, too, is a deal that would have waived all future annual license renewal fees for those longtime liquor license owners.
But much of House Bill 255, which passed through the House of Representatives earlier in the session, remains intact. The bill still allows for home delivery of alcohol along with food orders.
The bill’s main sponsor, Rep. Moe Maestas, D-Albuquerque, said the bill is meant to update the decades-old liquor license law that has increased liquor license fees to well over $500,000. It is also meant to encourage new restaurateurs to get into business at an affordable price.