Navajo President Would Support Tax On Junk Food

By Tristan Ahtone
February 24, 2014

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly, who recently vetoed legislation that would increase taxes on junk food sold on the reservation, said he will support a new, tweaked version.

The bill would have added a 2 percent tax to all junk food sold on the Navajo Nation, and was designed to encourage healthy eating habits while fighting problems like diabetes.

But how the tax will be collected, how business owners will be impacted, and what actually constitutes junk food all need to be hammered out before Navajo President Ben Shelly signs off, which he hopes will be this year.

"This is a good law, I support it," Shelly said. "I believe that when we go through this again, with a well-organized plan on how to implement this, I will have no problem to sign it."

Shelly says he’s asked all affected parties to meet and revise the bill, and says he’ll sign it as soon as they bring a new version to his desk.