WASHINGTON, DC – Radio ads are running in Albuquerque and Santa Fe criticizing a proposal — supported by the Governor — for higher taxes on the struggling hospitality/tourism industry when it is already among the highest taxed in the nation. “The Governor has chosen to ignore the Blue Ribbon Tax Commission’s recommendation that the struggling hospitality industry should not be the target of higher taxes,” said Peter Cressy, President of the Distilled Spirits Council. “Particularly when New Mexico’s hospitality industry continues to suffer a downturn and is already among the highest taxed in the nation.” After studying New Mexico’s tax system for five months, the Blue Ribbon Tax Commission omitted increased hospitality/tourism taxes from its final report to the legislature. As the Chairman of the Commission stated, “The tax reform commission’s recommendations will make New Mexico a better place to live and work by making the tax system fairer for the middle class…” Supported by the New Mexico Alcohol Beverage Wholesalers Association, the Wine Institute and the Distilled Spirits Council, the ad explains that increasing hospitality taxes could result in further jobs losses among New Mexican workers who are least able to afford it – waitresses, cooks and bartenders. “It’s time for political leaders in Santa Fe to recognize that alcohol taxes are really taxes on the hospitality and tourism industry,” said Cressy. “At a time when the state is spending millions to attract tourists and conventions to help stimulate the hospitality industry, it makes no sense to slap more taxes on the industry as it struggles to get back up on its feet.” See attached script: SFX: Busy restaurant natural sounds in background; waitress is forced to talk louder than normal to be heard above the din… Waitress: Being a waitress is a tough job. And it could get even tougher. That’s because the governor and his friends in Santa Fe at it again, wanting to tax every thing that moves – and most things that don’t. On the one hand they spend millions of our tax dollars to attract tourists and conventions to New Mexico to help our ailing hospitality industry… hotels, restaurants and bars in every city and town in the state. On the other hand, Wham!, they want to again raise taxes on every cocktail, glass of wine or beer sold here. Wait a minute! Don’t we already pay just about the highest alcohol taxes in the country? It’s not just a tax on alcohol. It’s a tax on the hospitality industry! Because who gets hurt here? People like me! Waitresses, cooks and bartenders will lose their jobs. SFX: Background sounds end cold; waitress speaks in lower voice… Waitress: It’s going to get awfully quiet around here. It’s time to say no to hospitality taxes. It’s time to tell the tax raisers to look elsewhere. Before it’s too late. Disclaimer: A message from the New Mexico Alcohol Beverage Wholesalers Association, the Distilled Spirits Council, and the Wine Institute.