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Many New Mexicans are asking whether Governor Bill Richardson will line-item veto the reimposition of the local portion of the food tax that was passed during the recent Special Session.
However, once they learn the story behind the food tax’s passage, New Mexicans are more likely to ask instead: “Why wouldn’t Richardson veto the food tax?”
First, a little recent history. In 2004, Richardson, delivering on a campaign promise made in his 2002 election, boldly pushed a repeal of the food tax through the Legislature with the critical help of Speaker Ben Luján and many others.
At the time, Richardson pointed out: “The gross receipts tax on the food that goes on the plates of New Mexico families is an unconscionable reach into the pockets of New Mexico breadwinners.”
Indeed, this was an important victory for working low and middle-income families in New Mexico, who had been paying this regressive, anti-family tax since 1933 when it was enacted as a “temporary” and “emergency” statute.
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