Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

Cook County Commissioners Sour on Sugary Drinks Tax

Cook County Commissioners Sour on Sugary Drinks Tax

The repeal of a sweetened beverage tax in the Chicago area on Wednesday renewed calls for Philadelphia to end its own, more expensive tax.

Final action to repeal the unpopular penny per ounce Cook County pop tax came today with a 15 to 2 vote by the Cook County Board.

Store owners, drink companies and bottlers all battled the tax.

The county, which includes Chicago and its suburbs, was the sixth USA municipality to tax sweetened drinks.

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The committee took the first step to repeal the ill-favored sweetened beverage tax on Tuesday and is expected to finalize the vote tomorrow.

Gainer said she is committed to working with Preckwinkle and her colleagues "to approach the 2018 budget line-by-line and find alternate ways to close the budget gap". "IL law required that the tax be levied on consumers, while all other cities tax beverage distributors, which is a simpler process", Krieger said in a statement. The Illinois Public Health Institute and Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity said in a joint statement that it was a "bad deal" for taxpayers who will have to pay for rising health care costs related to drinking too many sugary beverages.

Repeal could force the closure of community health centers, delay property tax bills and force the county to borrow money to purchase "new election equipment to protect our voting systems from cyber attacks", Preckwinkle said.

In her 20018 budget address last week, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, a supporter of the soda tax, reportedly argued that an estimated $200 million a year from the tax would help avoid budget cuts. They have until November 30 to approve a budget.

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