Chicago area's soft-drink tax repealed by county board

Cook County Commissioners Sour on Sugary Drinks Tax

Cook County Commissioners Sour on Sugary Drinks Tax

Nanny staters are gonna nanny state.

A plan to repeal Cook County's sweetened beverage tax is expected to pass its final hurdle on Wednesday. The tax added a $1.28 tax for a gallon of zero-calorie iced tea. Supporters of the tax claimed that it would've raised $200 million in the 2018 fiscal year budget, beginning December 1.

By a vote of 15-2, the board of Illinois' largest county passed an ordinance repealing the penny-per-ounce levy on sales of sweetened beverages. Sugar-drink taxes have been successfully implemented in seven jurisdictions across the United States in the last four years.

Bloomberg has taken his anti-soda campaign nationally with little success.

Proponents of the tax claimed it would improve public health by discouraging the purchase of sugary drinks, which have been connected to health issues like obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

Grace, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 830, called on Mayor Jim Kenney and City Council to repeal the city's own sweetened beverage tax.

But the critics emphasize that the disintegration of the Cook County tax is evidence that the national soda tax movement is mislay its impetus.

Preckwinkle has repeated her warning that massive budget cuts and layoffs could result if the penny-per-ounce tax is repealed, with an 11 percent cut across the board now on the table if the measure is overturned next week.

The tax also applies to hundreds of premade sweetened beverages besides pop.

"Part of the job of being board president is making tough choices, but another part of this job is understanding that not every choice you make will be embraced by your colleagues or constituents and accepting when you need to make a change", she said.

As for how she misread pop tax opposition so badly, she said, "We're in a very hard time in this country politically". For instance, he said, a sweet bottled drink would be taxed while a similar beverage from a barista would be exempt.

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