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Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly vetoes junk food tax bill






Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly vetoed CJA-04-14, amending Title 24 of the Navajo Nation Code by enacting the Healthy Dine’ Nation Act of 2013. He cited the lack of regulatory provisions as the main reason. (Photo by Rick Abasta / Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President)

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly on Wednesday vetoed the Healthy Diné Nation Act, a bill that imposes a higher tax on junk foods.

Shelly said he supports healthy lifestyles. But he said the bill fails to explain how the tribe will administer and enforce the additional two percent tax on junk foods like soda, chips, candy and cookies.

“This proposed tax will be imposed on the Navajo people, not the food and beverage industry or its distributors,” Shelly said in a press release. “The junk food importers will continue business as usual.

Shelly also vetoed a related measure that would have reduced the tax on healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. The current rate for all foods is 5 percent.

Shelly urged the Navajo Nation Council to conduct more research on the bill to determine how it will impact businesses on the reservation. The council could still override his veto by a two-thirds vote.

Get the Story:
Navajo Nation president blocks reservation junk-food tax, asks lawmakers to revise proposal (AP 2/12)

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