Proposed soda tax to be considered by Santa Fe council

SANTA FE – Mayor Javier Gonzales’ proposal to impose a 2-cent-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages to fund an early childhood education program in the city cleared another hurdle Monday when it was approved by the City Council’s Finance Committee. The next stop now is the full council, which at its March 8 meeting will consider whether to put the question to voters who would ultimately decide in a special election in early May.

The Finance Committee’s approval came the same day that mailers supporting the proposal arrived in mailboxes in City Council districts 2 and 4 urging constituents to contact Councilors Joseph Maestas and Ron Trujillo, and tell them “let Santa Feans VOTE this spring!” The mailers – an unusual political move in Santa Fe for an issues debate – included the councilors’ phone numbers and email addresses.

Maestas announced last week he will be introducing a resolution, co-sponsored by Trujillo, to delay the public vote on the soda tax until the regular city elections in March 2018. The May special election would cost $70,000-$100,000.

The mailers were sent by Pre-K for Santa Fe, a political action committee supporting the mayor’s plan. “Councilors Trujillo and Maestas tried to put an enormous roadblock for pre-K, and we wanted to let people in their districts know and ask them why,” said political consultant Sandra Wechsler of Pre-K for Santa Fe. “At the end of the day, you can’t support pre-K without an immediate funding source.”

Maestas, who is not a member of the Finance Committee, but attended Monday’s meeting, didn’t mention the mailer, but said his presence demonstrated his support for the proposed pre-K plan, despite his proposal to delay putting it before the voters. He has said there too many unanswered questions about the plan, including whether the city can legally impose a soda tax to pay private pre-K providers.

Trujillo did not attend Monday’s meeting. He previously said he supports early childhood education, but objects to how the beverage tax would affect local businesses and families. Reached by phone Monday night, Trujillo said he had received a considerable number of emails and phone calls from constituents as a result of the mailer. But he said he’s also received considerable support from people “who are thankful I am standing up for what I believe in and what they believe in, as well.”

Share Your Story

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango


taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
The nightmare before Christmas?
ABQnews Seeker
For New Mexicans thinking they'll just ... For New Mexicans thinking they'll just leave holiday shopping until the last minute this year, exper ...
2
Monsoon rains and no-till process a perfect mix to ...
From the newspaper
Monsoon rains and Monsoon rains and
3
Belen tracks down causes of massive water losses
ABQnews Seeker
Consultant's study blames faulty city systems, ... Consultant's study blames faulty city systems, aging infrastructure
4
ABQ vet helps rhinos in South Africa
ABQnews Seeker
Poachers are killing animals in unprecedented ... Poachers are killing animals in unprecedented numbers
5
141 mph on Coal, a too-short arrow, US 550 ...
ABQnews Seeker
NMDOT awaiting funding for US 550 ... NMDOT awaiting funding for US 550 fix
6
Eco-friendly upgrades coming to Sunport
ABQnews Seeker
Zero-emissions passenger shuttle buses among uses ... Zero-emissions passenger shuttle buses among uses of federal money
7
Courage and compassion hallmarks of vet's life
ABQnews Seeker
Jose Quintero risked his life to ... Jose Quintero risked his life to fashion an American flag in WWII, helped others at home
8
Dual brews of tax hikes on well-to-do
ABQnews Seeker
I am known for certain traits, ... I am known for certain traits, some positive, others negative. Starting with a negative, my family k ...
9
Take a pay cut to keep working from home?
ABQnews Seeker
Jeanine "J.T." Tanner O'Donnell is a ... Jeanine "J.T." Tanner O'Donnell is a career coach and the founder of the leading ca ...