New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson vetoed the food tax on Wednesday in the final legislative action of his two terms as governor.
“I am not willing to put this burden on working families in the form of an unfair tax on food. I agree with those who call this a cruel tax,” Richardson said in a news release. “It is especially cruel during the worst financial crisis New Mexico has ever experienced.”
The New Mexico state Senate insisted on including a partial reinstatement of the food tax as part of a larger revenue bill passed during the recent special session. Richardson signed the revenue package, but line-item vetoed the tax on food.
“In 2004, I told New Mexicans that we eliminated the food tax forever, putting hundreds of dollars into the pockets of working families,” Richardson said. “I’m not about to open the door again and resurrect a tax on food that disproportionately hurts poor and middle-income families. There is no reason to tax so basic a necessity as food in order to balance the budget.”