COVID-19 Relief Bill Heads To Governor’s Desk

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

House Democrats News:

SANTA FE — COVID-19 tax relief for local restaurants and bars, as well as working New Mexicans, is on its way to the Governor’s desk after passing the House of Representatives Wednesday. 

Sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe), Sen. Jacob Candelaria (D-Albuquerque), Sen. Siah Correa Hemphill (D-Silver City), and Rep. Javier Martínez (D-Albuquerque), Senate Bill 1 provides a four-month tax holiday for food and beverage establishments.

It also creates a $600 tax credit for individuals who earn $31,200 or less, and heads of household, surviving spouses or those married filing jointly who earn up to $39,000. 

“The past year has been devastating for New Mexico’s restaurants and bars, as well as frontline essential workers, like janitors and grocery store workers,” Rep. Martinez said. “Senate Bill 1 provides needed relief for those hardest hit by the pandemic, helping hardworking New Mexicans navigate this difficult time, and putting more money back into our local economies.” 

SB 1’s $600 tax credit applies to tax year 2020 and to those claiming the Working Families Tax Credit. It is refundable if the amount of the rebate exceeds the taxpayer’s income tax liability. 

Under the bill, food and beverage establishments will receive a new gross receipts tax (GRT) deduction from food or non-packaged beverages served or offered to-go for four months, which would likely affect receipts from March 1-June 30, 2021. Qualifying food and beverage establishments include restaurants, bars, craft distilleries, food trucks, small breweries, and wineries.

Senate Bill 1 passed on the House floor with a 66-1 vote, and now heads to the desk of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to sign it into law.

Members of the public can track legislation on the New Mexico Legislature website, access committee meetings and House floor sessions via the Webcasts tab, or participate by Zoom to provide public comment on committee hearings. During the 2021 Legislative Session, the House of Representatives is focused on passing critical legislation while protecting the health and safety of the public, the staff and the legislators.