New Mexico Campaign: Alcohol Taxes Save Lives & Money

December 21, 2015

A new movement to increase state alcohol taxes is underway in New Mexico.  The Alcohol Taxes Save Lives & Money campaign is garnering support for a 25-cent increase in the excise tax per standard drink. New Mexico is currently the state leader in alcohol-related deaths, with 16% of all annual deaths caused by excessive drinking.

The tax increase would lead to an estimated 10% reduction in consumption overall and shift the costs for harm onto excessive drinkers, who will pay an additional $51 per year at the higher rates. Those New Mexicans who do not drink excessively will pay less than $10 more annually. If approved, this alcohol tax increase will be the largest in the United States, considerably larger than tax proposals in New York State and California.

Raising alcohol prices by increasing taxes is the most effective public health strategy for reducing alcohol consumption and related harm. With a 25-cent/drink alcohol tax increase, New Mexico can expect to see decreases in alcohol-related harm including mortality; traffic crash deaths; sexually transmitted infections; violence; and crime, among others.

For more on the effectiveness of alcohol tax increases, please see our fact sheets: Raising Alcohol Taxes Reduces Harm and Increasing Alcohol TaxesReality vs. Industry Myths.