Chicago area's soft-drink tax repealed by county board

Chicago area's soft-drink tax repealed by county board”

"Because of provisions in IL tax law - unique to this state and not relevant to adoption of taxes elsewhere - the Cook County tax was quite different than those in other cities". The ordinance eliminates the so-called soda tax beginning December 1, the first day of fiscal year 2018. The tax will be in effect for just four months.

Philadelphia became the first major American city to adopt a soda tax, which Kenney pushed as a funding mechanism for free expanded pre-kindergarten, a community schools initiative and public park improvements. "Evaluations of the first such US tax, in Berkeley, Calif., and another from Mexico have shown decreased consumption of sugar drinks and increased consumption of healthy beverages, while providing needed revenues for other public health measures". "Residents and consumers have been forced to pay more on over 1,000 everyday beverages, including diet drinks", the anti-tax Can the Tax Coalition said in a statement on its website.

"Nothing good has come from Cook County's beverage tax".

On a 15-2 vote, the Cook County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday repealed the penny-an-ounce levy on sweetened beverages it passed last November. For instance, he said, a sweet bottled drink would be taxed while a similar beverage from a barista would be exempt.

Public and local media opinion ran consistently high against the tax, which its supporters deemed necessary for public health but which was revealed to be primarily a revenue grab by a county government looking to plug holes in its budget.

Preckwinkle said tax fatigue was part of the problem.

Revenue was a factor. The county board's president, Toni Preckwinkle, had vigorously defended the penny-per-ounce tax, which had been forecast to raise $200 million annually, on both public-health and fiscal grounds, backed by an advertising push from Michael Bloomberg, the former NY mayor.

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