CARSON CITY, NV -- A Nevada lawmaker is drafting a bill that would levy an extra sales tax as high as 5% on "junk food" purchased in Nevada restaurants and convenience stores. He did not specify whether it would include items sold through vending machines.
Assemblyman Harvey Munford (D-Las Vegas), vice-chairman of the Assembly Taxation Committee, said his inspiration for the "junk food" came from watching first lady Michelle Obama's efforts to get children to exercise more and "eat right." He said the money could help tackle obesity in Nevada by funding state healthcare programs.
Munford categorized junk food as having "no nutritional value" and a format that can be consumed quickly. He cited candy, ice cream, soft drinks, cakes, pies, hamburgers, pizza, chips and French fries as examples, but said he is working with his staff on a clear definition.
Nevada lawmakers proposed junk food taxes in 2003 that were shot down. Gov. Brian Sandoval has vocally opposed any new tax increases.