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Navajo lawmaker attempts to revive junk food tax

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Navajo President Ben Shelly’s decision to veto a tax
on junk food sold on the reservation is being challenged.

Tribal lawmaker Jonathan Hale has sponsored legislation to override the veto of
the tax, as well as Shelly’s rejection of a companion bill to eliminate the
sales tax on nuts, fresh fruit and vegetables.

Hale’s proposals are open for public comment.

Shelly said he vetoed the junk food tax because the legislation didn’t clearly
state how boosting the sales tax to 7 percent for snacks high in fat, sugar and
salt would be enforced and regulated. The tribe’s current sales tax is 5
percent.

The Tribal Council isn’t scheduled to meet in regular session until next month.
The council can override Shelly’s vetoes with a two-thirds vote of its 24
members.

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