Council votes to remove sales tax from healthy food

By Alastair Lee Bitsoi
Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, April 24, 2014

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(Times photo – Donovan Quintero)

Speaker Pro Tem of the Navajo Nation Council Lorenzo Bates speaks on Tuesday during the 22nd Navajo Nation Council spring session in Window Rock.

Fresh food items like fruits and vegetables as well as nuts, seeds, peanut butter and water will no longer be taxed.

This new law will take effect as soon as the Office of Legislative Services and Speaker Pro Tem Lorenzo Bates, pursuant to Title 2 of the Navajo Nation Code, certifies it.

On Tuesday during the spring session, the Navajo Nation Council voted to override portions of President Ben Shelly's Feb. 12 veto of the Healthy Diné Act of 2013. The act consists of two bills known collectively as the junk food tax – a two percent sales tax on junk food and the elimination of sales tax on healthy foods.

But the Council only passed the latter portion of the act – the elimination of sales tax on fresh foods – by a vote of 19-1.

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