Navajo "Junk Food Tax" Fails

Apr 22, 2014

  An effort to resurrect a junk-food tax on the country's largest American Indian reservation has failed.

The Navajo Nation Council earlier this year approved an additional 2 percent sales tax on snacks high in fat, sugar and salt. Tribal President Ben Shelly vetoed the measure, saying it was unclear how the tax would be enacted and enforced.

A bill to override that veto came before tribal lawmakers Tuesday but fell three votes short.

Lawmakers approved a separate measure to eliminate the tribe's 5 percent sales tax on fresh fruit and vegetables.

Elected officials across the country have taken aim at sugary drinks with proposals to limit the size of beverages that can be sold, raise taxes or require warning labels. But those efforts have not gained widespread traction.

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