Chicago area's soft-drink tax repealed by county board

Chicago Rethinks Soda Tax

Commissioner Larry Suffredin, D-Evanston, was alone in voting to keep it.

Just over two months since it was implemented, Cook County commissioners have soured on a penny-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks. In the latest poll, about 79 percent said they would not support a commissioner for re-election should they support the tax.

Since the tax went into effect on August 2, 2017, it has generated $16m in additional revenue for the county, a spokesperson from Preckwinkle's office told BeverageDaily. The tax has been tormented in its very short life by legitimate challenges, execution glitches, and a howling multimillion-dollar media battle amongst the soda industry and public health groups.

Despite warnings from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle of steep budget cuts across the county if her pop tax was repealed, the Cook County Board Committee rejected her sweetened beverage tax 15-1 on Tuesday, Oct. 10, after a almost four-hour session.

The budget cut caused by the repeal tax could amount to 11%, causing a lot of layoffs in order to cut costs. The ads are still running on some major TV networks in Chicago, despite commissioners last week announcing they had enough votes for a repeal which would go into effect in December.

Cook County was the sixth county in the country to tax sodas and other sweetened beverages, while Philadelphia, Berkeley, Calif. and Boulder, Colo.

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