December 20, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Roman Catholic Church is denouncing the possibility of a grocery tax proposal. Archbishop John Wester spoke out on why he thinks it’s a bad idea.

“New Mexico ranks second-highest in the nation for children living in hunger and the first highest for children living in poverty,” Wester said.

In a tight budget year, he’s worried legislators could try to reinstate a grocery tax to help the budget’s bottom line. The grocery tax in New Mexico was repealed in 2004.

“There are better ways to find money for our state government,” Voices for Children executive director James Jimenez said.

New Mexico’s Voices for Children, the archbishop and several food pantries said they are concerned about the impact the extra tax cost will have on the poor, who are struggling to get by as it is.

“They share with me the tough decisions they have to make trying to decide what bill to pay whether or not to pay our rent,” deacon Steve Rangel, from St. Felix’s Pantry, said.

The groups are now begging lawmakers and the public to keep necessary nutrition tax-free.

Copyright 2016, KOAT TV (http://www.koat.com/article/catholic-church-food-pantries-oppose-grocery-tax-proposal/8522294)