Whereas, alcohol causes 16.4% of deaths in New Mexico, and a $.25 per drink increase in the state alcohol tax would save 52 lives, prevent 306 violent acts and 12,375 cases of alcohol dependence or abuse in New Mexico every year, and reduce underage drinking per month by 7,150 youth (13%);

Whereas, alcohol problems cost New Mexico $1.876 billion per year, including $793.5 million paid directly by governments – the equivalent of $406 per year paid by every New Mexican;

Whereas, 49% of New Mexicans don’t drink alcohol and 32% drink at low-risk levels, and all these taxpayers pay for the costs generated by the 19% of New Mexican adults who drink excessively;

Whereas, excessive drinking also burdens the state with extensive lost productivity, and a $.25 per drink increase in the state alcohol tax would save the state’s economy $128 million per year in lost work days, and lower insurance and health care costs;

Whereas, an increase in the alcohol tax could help retain health care coverage for the more than 200,00 previously uninsured New Mexicans now covered by the Medicaid expansion;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the undersigned person or organization supports a $.25 per drink increase in New Mexico’s alcohol tax to save lives, reduce underage drinking, pay for some of the harms caused by excessive drinking, and fund:

  • Expanding alcohol prevention & treatment programs
  • Reimbursing cities and counties for the costs of alcohol-related harms
  • Continued health care coverage under the Medicaid expansion