What New Mexicans Are Saying About the Food Tax

Please don’t let the tax-free food plan be repealed. We understand that there is a bad economy, but that bad economy counts for the people of this state as well. We’ve had no pay increases in 2 years, so having no tax on food is a big help. New Mexico should follow the lead of 48 other states and keep food tax-free…I’m not rich, just average. The economy is in the dumper and we are trying to survive. Please don’t let the few dictate to the many. Thanks for hearing me out.” -Michael Hoffman, Portales, Dec. 7, 2009

As a senior citizen and a volunteer who has provided assistance to those in need, it is shortsighted to reimpose the food tax, a regressive tax. I don’t think NM needs to be viewed the same as other states, such as Mississippi and Alabama, who place regressive taxes on food but have large populations at or below poverty level…” -Paul Huntsberger, Las Cruces, Dec. 9, 2009

As a business person, I am embarrassed once again by the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce’s position on taxes. Real business people do not advocate raising taxes, like the food tax, on their own employees. It is important to remember that most Albuquerque business people do not belong to the Albuquerque Chamber. Only the pay-to-play politicians in Santa Fe, whose tax-and-spend schemes are supported by the Albuquerque Chamber, believe that this small clique speaks for all Albuquerque businesses.” -Ken Newman, Albuquerque, Dec. 15, 2009

A tax on food would hurt New Mexico’s working families…A food tax would make New Mexico’s hunger crisis worse by making groceries more expensive for New Mexico families. It makes sense to tax things that are “nice to have” such as restaurant food, alcohol, or luxury items. But it is very harmful to tax necessities such as groceries, medicine, or clothing. These types of taxes hit those at the low end of the economy. Please, when these folks are already in greater need, don’t hit them while they are down. That would not only hurt New Mexico’s poor, but also harm us all.” -Mark Rolfson, Sandia Park, Dec. 10, 2009

Please oppose any efforts to reimpose the food tax in New Mexico…As you’ve heard for years: “You get less of what you tax, and more of what you subsidize.” Taxing basic foodstuffs sends a strong message that you aren’t very concerned about New Mexicans getting their basic nutrition. If you levy a tax, it should be on non-essentials or luxury items. Encourage people to purchase essential foods. A food tax would be opposite to that beneficial principle.” -Tom Krajci, Cloudcroft, Dec. 7, 2009

It’s appalling that the state would even consider reinstating a food tax. I moved here from Tennessee last year, a state that has a regressive tax on both food and clothing, which is hard enough on what’s left of the middle class, but devastating to the poor. Despite what Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce President Terri Cole says, food taxes are very harmful to those who can barely afford milk and bread…” -Robert Jager, Santa Fe, Nov. 22, 2009

I am a mother of 2 students living at home. I oppose the tax on food in New Mexico. As a state we have children with no health insurance and now in this recession we cannot take away our family’s ability to feed our children. Working families who do not qualify for food stamps will have to choose between rent, mortgages and what we can eat. I am a school nurse and everyday I see students in my health office who come to school without eating breakfast. Some students only get lunch at school. Hungry children cannot learn. Parents are cutting back on spending. Less money for food is not in the best interest of our children, who are our most valuable resource. Parents will suffer if there is not enough food to make sandwiches for the children and myself, I will not eat but my students must have food to learn!!” -Lillian Palmer, RN, Albuquerque, Dec. 9, 2009

I am shocked that legislators are thinking about reimposing the taxation of food. Please do not make life harder for the average New Mexican rather than choosing options that do no harm. Please oppose any efforts to reimpose the food tax in New Mexico.” -Dayna Griego, Santa Clara, Dec. 7, 2009

…the notion that the elimination of the tax on food hasn’t helped “the poor” is ludicrous. Only those so poor that they don’t buy food haven’t been helped. Any legislator who supports this concept over raising taxes on the wealthy is going to have people lining up to fund his or her opponent in the next election…” -Derek Bill, Santa Fe, Nov. 16, 2009

The idea of re-imposing a food tax in New Mexico is shocking. I would be ashamed of our state if it reinstated this regressive tax. A food tax would make New Mexico’s hunger crisis worse by making groceries more expensive for New Mexico families. Mississippi and Alabama are the only two states that still fully tax food. New Mexico should follow the example of the rest of the nation and keep food tax-free.” -Cathe Temmermon, Pecos, Dec. 9, 2009

Quotes are from letters that were sent to the governor and legislators as well as letters to the editors of New Mexico newspapers. Reprinted here with permission.

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