It aims to help the economy.
the license changes for bars and restaurants who want to serve drinks should be a big boost at the end of the pandemic, and it is hoped that this will encourage more businesses to start up.
Even critics of the bill are in favor of it.
“You’re going to see growth in our industry, and it’s going to create more jobs in New Mexico. It’s going to bring more people to New Mexico. It’s going to keep our young generation here because there are things to do, ”said Matt DiGregory, owner of Range Café.
However, he and hundreds of other restaurant and bar owners potentially face very worrying consequences with this legislation.
“It’s unfortunate,” DiGregory said. “The problem is that the bill as it is written did not take care of those of us who had licenses.”
As licenses will now be cheaper, the expensive licenses it has could very well lose value – since they can be bought and sold privately. It’s not clear by how much, but any drop could hit him hard because he and many others are using the licenses as collateral on their loans.
“I have five licenses worth over $ 300,000 each that are basically worthless,” DiGregory said.
They wanted the state to take note.
The idea proposed by many restaurants was to turn the new license revenues over to a separate third-party legal entity and return it to those owners. But this does not happen, for legal reasons.
“It was a great idea. It was a great concept, and it’s probably what we should have done in a perfect world. We are prohibited by law from doing what you have just described, ”said representative Mo Maestas (D-District 16), co-sponsor of the bill.
On the positive side, there are two advantages for these owners. License fees are waived for five years and there are tax credits that allow them to recoup some of what they stand to lose.
However, many owners of the current licenses say that will not be enough.