In Vino Taxitas

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.