Cook County board votes 15-1 to repeal sugary drink tax

12 October, 2017, 00:25 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • Controversial tax on soda in Cook County Ill. could end up on the chopping block

Former McDonald's USA CEO Ed Rensi sounds off on Illinois' soda tax.

Just over two months since it was implemented, Cook County commissioners have soured on a penny-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks.

Low-tax advocates cheered the decision as a blow to the "nanny-state crusade".

Amidst the identification of increasing public pressure Cook County's Board of Commissioners is anticipated to vote to roll back the tax, effective from December 1. 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.

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"Nothing good has come from Cook County's beverage tax". In the latest poll, about 79 percent said they would not support a commissioner for re-election should they support the tax. Almost 77 percent of those polled said they believed the tax was in order to raise money, with 11.71 percent saying it was meant to "improve health". David Goldenberg, a spokesman for the industry-funded Can the Tax Coalition said that Consumer indignation is off the charts.

The Chicago Tribune reported that the American Beverage Association and store owners spent millions pushing for repeal, while soda tax crusader Michael Bloomberg backed an even more expensive ad campaign to preserve the tax.

County Board President Toni Preckwinkle had defended the tax, saying it was necessary to fund essential county services, but has said she will work with the board to balance the budget without the estimated $200 million in annual revenue.

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