Arizona

Jan 31, 2014 4:10 PM by Associated Press

Navajo lawmakers increase sales tax on junk food

WINDOW ROCK, AZ - Purchasing junk food on the Navajo Nation could cost more money.

The Tribal Council approved legislation this week to impose an additional 2 percent sales tax on sweetened drinks, and snacks high in salt and fat. That includes chips, candy and pastries.

The legislation meant to combat high rates of diabetes and encourage healthy lifestyles now goes to tribal President Ben Shelly for consideration.

The 2 percent tax would be added to the current 5 percent sales tax. Navajo communities in Arizona, Utah and New Mexico could use the revenue for wellness centers, community parks, walking trails and picnic grounds.

Opponents of the tax, which is set to expire at the end of 2018, say it will burden consumers.

A separate bill approved by tribal lawmakers eliminates sales tax on fresh fruits and fresh vegetables.

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