More Food News- 'Democrats' and 'Republicans' of Mexico Battle Over Food Tax
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Thu Nov 20 12:01:19 MST 2003
Nov. 19, 2003
Mexicans have no appetite for Fox's proposed food tax
Reuters News Service
MEXICO CITY -- Famous the world over, Mexico's tacos, chilies and fajitas
are under threat from a planned food tax that could make or break President
Vicente Fox's attempts to reform the country.
Desperate for revenues, the government has proposed breaking a taboo by
slapping a value-added tax on all food and medicines for the first time.
"We would all suffer, those who sell food and those who buy it," said
Beatriz Garcia, 21, selling fried quesadilla cheese snacks at a makeshift
stall popular with office workers in Mexico City.
The main opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party, called PRI, Tuesday
night rejected a bid by Fox to put a 10 percent value-added tax on the
politically sensitive items. But a food tax is still on the table as the
PRI, which dominates Congress, is drawing up its own plan to levy food
production, distribution and imports.
The mere idea of taxing food is enough to ruin the appetite of food-mad
Mexicans, who can hotly debate the merits of rich regional dishes and
"Through food, one understands much of our history, who we are. It is really
what gives us our identity," society commentator Guadalupe Loaeza said.
In response to the PRI's opposition to Fox's plan, Mexico's bolsa index had
its biggest decline in more than six months. It fell 190.40, or 2.2 percent,
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