Navajo Nation president approves junk-food tax

AP News
Posted: Nov 21, 2014 2:31 PM

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The sales tax on cookies, chips and sodas sold on the Navajo Nation is going up.

Tribal President Ben Shelly signed legislation Friday to impose a 2 percent sales tax on junk food starting next year. It will remain in effect until 2020.

The money will pay for projects including farmer's markets, vegetable gardens and exercise equipment in tribal communities.

Elected officials across the U.S. have taken aim at sugary drinks with proposed bans, size limits, tax hikes and warning labels, but the efforts haven't gained widespread traction.

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The Dine (dih-NEH') Community Advocacy Alliance spent nearly two years to get a junk food tax approved on the Navajo Nation.

Shelly vetoed a version of the bill earlier this year. He says this one is clearer on how it will be implemented.