Senate committee gives nod to reinstating tax on some foods

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By Barry Massey

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Senate committee has approved a proposal to raise nearly $140 million to help balance the budget by reinstating New Mexico's sales tax on some food products.

However, the proposal is starting a war over tortillas.

The bill endorsed by the Finance Committee on Friday will impose the gross receipts tax on white flour tortillas, but no tax will apply to whole wheat tortillas.

The legislation will leave products tax exempt if they are considered food under the federal Women, Infants and Children program.

Opponents say the tax measure will hurt low-income New Mexicans and that many foods purchased by working families will be subject to taxation. Those include hot dogs, bologna, butter, white rice, coffee and tea, and packaged macaroni and cheese.

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