- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - A tax on junk food sold on the Navajo Nation goes into effect Wednesday.

Tribal officials passed legislation last year for an additional 2 percent sales tax on food with little to no nutritional value. The tax expires in 2020, but it can be extended by the Navajo Nation Council.

Advocates for the junk-food tax say it could serve as a model for Indian Country to improve the rates of diabetes and obesity among tribal members.

The tax is expected to generate about $1 million a year. It will fund projects including farmer’s markets, vegetable gardens and exercise equipment in Navajo communities.

Representatives of the beverage industry had lobbied the tribe to reject the tax that applies to sports drinks and fruit juice as well as cookies, chips and sodas.

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