Yesterday the New Mexico Senate passed SB 1 Restaurant Gross Receipt Tax Deduction with a resounding 42-0 vote. Senate Bill 1 is the first meaningful piece of Legislation to com out of the Senate so far and would give restaurants, bars and other establishments affected by business restrictions a one-time gross receipts tax holiday for four months, from March to June. The bill also would provide one-time, $600 tax rebates to New Mexicans who earn less than $31,200 annually. That measure passed the Senate unanimously.
The Senate also passed two other bills directly aimed at providing businesses with aid yesterday. Senate Bill 2, which would waive 2021 liquor licence fees passed in a 41-1 vote. And Senate Bill 3, The Small Business Recovery Act will provide small businesses with low-interest loans they wouldn’t have to begin to repay for a few years, passed on a 35-3 vote. Senate Minority Leader Greg Baca, R-Belen, voted in favor of all three bills, but cautioned the package would not be a cure-all for businesses impacted by virus related closures. “We cannot pat ourselves on the back for curing an ailment that we ourselves helped nurture and create,” Baca said.
These three pandemic relief bills from the Senate are the first to make their way to the House for further action, and are expected to pass with little resistance. And while they are welcome assistance for struggling businesses, what’s needed more than anything is the ability for businesses to open up and conduct operations. New Mexico business and restaurant groups supported the bills, with some restaurant owners telling legislators that relaxing restrictions would have a bigger impact than enacting a tax holiday. Click HERE to read more.