Navajo Nation Ponders Junk Food Tax

By  Stina Sieg
November 11, 2013

Junk food might soon be more expensive on the Navajo Nation. A proposed sales tax on certain snacks is headed to the Navajo Nation Council for consideration.

The legislation calls for an additional 2 percent tax on sweetened beverages, chips, candy, cookies and pastries bought on the reservation. The revenue would be used to build wellness centers, parks, basketball courts, trails, gardens and picnic grounds. It would also help to sponsor health education classes.

Supporters tell The Daily Times the tax would help reduce diabetes and encourage people to buy healthy foods. Opponents argue the tax would simply push consumers to buy junk food off the reservation.

The measure is sponsored by Delegate Danny Simpson. He is also sponsoring legislation to remove the sales tax on vegetables, fruit, water and other foods.