Chicago area's soft-drink tax repealed by county board

Cook County Commissioners Sour on Sugary Drinks Tax
Preckwinkle's sweetened beverage tax repealed
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13 Octubre, 2017

A plan to repeal Cook County's sweetened beverage tax is expected to pass its final hurdle on Wednesday.

The tax, which had been in effect since August 2, will end December 1.

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Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is making the rounds Thursday to answer questions about what comes next now that the pop tax is killed.

The former New York City mayor spent at least $5 million on ads supporting the Cook County tax and vowed to spend "whatever it takes" to reelect commissioners who supported it. Sugar-drink taxes have been successfully implemented in seven jurisdictions across the United States in the last four years.

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 has not said whether she will veto the repeal measure.

"It will just make it easier for us to buy the soda", Lovell said.

Still, the tax has fueled much public outcry from both shoppers and business owners in the county.

Cook County Board members voted 15-2 on Wednesday to approve the repeal after its near-unanimous approval by the board's finance committee a day earlier, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Opponents of the tax said that it violated IL law as it did not apply evenly to all beverages. Krieger further criticized efforts by "Big Soda" to oppose the tax.

David Goldenberg, a spokesman for the anti-tax coalition, told Fox News that one problem with the tax was that similar beverages would be treated differently depending on how they were packaged.

"It had nothing to do with health - everything to do with revenue" Goldberg said. He added that while larger companies may have the resources to address tax hikes, smaller ones often have to lay off workers or raise prices to stay afloat. They have until November 30 to approve a budget.


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