The invaluable Tax Foundation has released a map that exposes another disturbing policy reality about New Mexico.
The Land of Enchantment imposes a higher wine tax than four of its neighbors: Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Colorado. (Utah, along with four other states, controls alcohol sales within its borders.)
But the full story is a bit more complex. New Mexico’s economic-development bureaucracy touts the “preferential tax rate” the state offers to winemakers. Converting from liters, New Mexico imposes a tax of 38¢ per gallon for its smallest vintners. Mid-range winemakers pay a tax of 76¢ per gallon. The largest enterprises — more than than 2.1 million gallons of crushed grapes produced annually — pay the full tax of $1.70.
The lesson: Vintners in the Land of Enchantment are welcome to be successful — just not too successful.
3 Replies to “In Vino Taxitas”
This is the way New Mexico’s policymakers do things. Create unattractive/unfair taxing regimes and then go back and create a bunch of loopholes and credits to cover up those flaws. Unfortunately, those loopholes and credits tend to be less attractive to businesses than low rates across the board.
One has to wonder at politicians’ motives for such progressive policies. Is it to play with the license they’ve taken — and which by not objecting, the public has granted them — to control whatever they deem “necessary.” Is it ignorance or indifference to what is beneficial and what is not? Is it inertia — simply doing what other politicians have done since the late 19th century? Is it the standard by which politicians judge “benefit” and “harmful?”
It is likely a combination of all the above. The result is what Mr. Muska reports: A mish-mash of unjust “laws” that penalize success and continue to erode respect for the concept of law.
The only taxes that are fair for State or Federal would be 1: Sales tax on everything 2: Excise tax on certain items. 3: Tariffs on imports for the feds. No Exemptions. All other taxes that take away property from businesses or individuals such as 1: Income 2: capital gains 3: property should be abolished. If all people are subject to the same taxes they cannot be used as a divisive wedge between classes. It would also encourage saving, investment and business development resulting in better jobs. The only one hurt in this arrangement is the politician and his power over liberty loving individuals.