SANTA FE, N.M. — The Archdiocese of Santa Fe gave its blessing to the proposal to tax distributors of sugar-sweetened beverages this week after one of its priests reportedly came out against the tax with posts on his personal Facebook page.
On Wednesday, the archdiocese issued a statement in support of a 2-cents-per-ounce tax that is expected to raise more than $7 million per year to help fund local early childhood education programs. Early voting has already started for a special election that will decide the matter on May 2.
“The soda tax is a good attempt to address the dire conditions in which our children are living,” said the statement from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s office of communications. “In good conscience, we cannot let our children stagnate in the plight they are in, with some of the worst wellbeing outcomes in the nation.”
The statement notes that New Mexico ranks No. 1 in the nation for children living in poverty and second-highest for children living in hunger. It says that because of the New Mexico state Senate’s failure to support a constitutional amendment to earmark more from the state’s largest permanent fund to finance early education programs, “municipalities must seek funding for essential programs.”