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Governor nixes proposed tax on food, signs off on other tax hikes

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By Barry Massey

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Bill Richardson has vetoed a proposed tax on food, but signed other tax increases that will raise about $170 million to help balance the state budget next year.

The governor used his line-item veto powers Wednesday to reject a proposal that would have reinstated the gross receipts tax on food at the rate imposed by local governments, which averages about 2 percent statewide.

The food tax was part of a bill with several tax increases. Signed by the governor are provisions to raise the state's gross receipts tax on goods and services by an eighth of a cent, increase the tax on cigarettes by 75 cents a pack and increase personal income taxes for about one-fourth of New Mexico taxpayers.