Why target sugary drinks for such extreme taxes?

The Rio Grande Foundation has long advocated for lowering New Mexico’s tax on beer (the excise tax on beer is 41 cents/gallon, among the nation’s highest). The RGF supported lowering the tax to 8 cents/gallon and opposed recent efforts to raise the tax.

The point is, we take taxes on beer seriously and oppose placing undue tax burdens on alcohol consumers.

Enter the City of Santa Fe with its 2 cents/ounce soda tax proposal which, if adopted by voters on May 2nd, would burden drinkers of soda and other sugary drinks with a tax more than six times higher than New Mexico’s already-high tax on beer.

As seen below, when it comes to calories, there is no excuse for treating beer more gently than soda. Throw in DWI and other problems associated with alcoholism and it is positively inexcusable to charge such high tax rates on soda relative to beer (again, we are not advocating for higher taxes on beer, wine, or liquor).