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February 17, 2010

Wow, New Mexico, really?

I'm late to this party, but just have to write a few words of huffiness regarding the New Mexico Senate's vote to start taxing tortillas.

I got wind of this from former Albuquerque mayor Jim Baca's blog and have read up a bit more this morning.

This article from New Mexico Independent told me all I need to know.

The vote has already passed the Senate. Ugh.

So look. I get it, ok? In the best of boomtown heydays, New Mexico has never been a rich state. How does a state make money? Taxes.

A few years back, New Mexico made the move to end taxes on groceries.

When I moved to California over a decade ago, I was shocked to discover that grocery food items here aren't taxed. Holy jeebus, California will certainly tax everything else! But food, no.

Then California decided to add in a tax on junk food items.

Ok, fine. I disagree with it, but I get it.

So, in theory, I understand what New Mexico is doing. They need money. Lots of it, and so adding in a junk food tax is not totally unprecedented.

However...when the "junk food" term applies to cultural food staple items like tortillas and chile pods, now I have to ask myself just what the sam hell is going on in my home state?

I tend to shy away from the "tax the rich!" debates, but I have to say, on the face of it, taxing flour and also taxing tortillas made from flour really sounds like punishing the less financially well to do.

I'm left a bit perplexed at this whole thing.

For New Mexico, a state that has always sought to maintain the ethnic heritage of the multi-cultures that call the Land of Enchantment home, this seems to be a strange and rather elitist move.

To quote Joe Monahan, this whole debacle "will surely be remembered as an example of the utter disconnect in our time between the elected and voting classes."

It seems not really very fair, Oh Fair New Mexico.

(You'd think the guv, no stranger to a tortilla, might have more to say?)

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Creative Commons License
All content of Oh Fair New Mexico by Karen Fayeth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.