How New Mexico Taxes Tourists


The Land of Enchantment justifiably draws many visitors in search of fabulous weather, rich culture, fascinating history, and spectacular scenery. And the state’s politicians, similar to their counterparts elsewhere, see tourists as a means to boost government revenue.

For car rentals, the state imposes a tax of 5 percent, plus a surcharge of $2.00 per day. That’s generally higher than our five neighbors. (Utah’s tax is a flat 2.5 percent.)

There is no statewide hotel tax, but lawmakers permit local governments to levy their own, which “shall not exceed five percent of the gross taxable rent.” Big shock: The top rate is basically the standard. (Kudos to Moriarty, Logan, Hatch, and Corrales for going lower.)

Amazingly, New Mexico has no “meals tax.” But chowing down on green chile still costs tourists — like the locals, they pay the full gross receipts tax on all meals.