Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Economy | By Guillermo Lane

Cook County Commissioners Sour on Sugary Drinks Tax

Cook County Commissioners Sour on Sugary Drinks Tax

Had the tax been carried out, it was anticipated that it could raise an estimate of over $500 million per year in revenue for the state, and significantly cut costs for health issues like obesity, according to a Harvard study shared by the Tribune.

The Cook County Board of Commissioners voted, 15-2, to repeal a penny-per-ounce tax that went into effect on August 2.

The tax also applies to hundreds of premade sweetened beverages besides pop.

"This shows that momentum is swinging against beverage taxes", said William Dermody, vice president of media and public affairs at the American Beverage Association, a representative of soda companies who fought the tax.

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warnings from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle of steep budget cuts across the county if her pop tax was repealed, the Cook County Board Committee rejected her sweetened beverage tax 15-1 on Tuesday, Oct. 10, after a almost four-hour session.

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.

The tax repeal faces a final vote from the full board this week. 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.

Preckwinkle and commissioners will have to decide how they will fill an approximate $200 million budget hole that the tax would have satisfied. Preckwinkle said in a statement after Tuesday's vote that she was "disappointed".

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