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Cook County Puts the Kibosh On the Beverage Tax

13 Octubre 2017

The Cook County Board of Commissioners took the final step to repeal the sweetened beverage tax, approving an ordinance October 11 that puts the wildly unpopular revenue program on ice after just two months of collections.

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After plenty of backlash from all directions, the controversial sweetened beverage tax that went into effect just two months ago has inevitably been repealed.

The Wednesday voice vote - two commissioners voted no - came despite a defiant 2018 budget address last week by Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who maintained the $200 million a year she expected the pop tax to raise was needed to avoid 11 percent across-the-board cuts. "It's not too late for Philadelphia's elected officials to follow suit and repeal our city's regressive, discriminatory and under-performing beverage tax".

Preckwinkle has repeated her warning that massive budget cuts and layoffs could result if the penny-per-ounce tax is repealed, with an 11 percent cut across the board now on the table if the measure is overturned next week.

"The chamber remains neutral on things, but I would say that our people are happy it was repealed", Larkin said.

"It will just make it easier for us to buy the soda", Lovell said. "IL law required that the tax be levied on consumers, while all other cities tax beverage distributors, which is a simpler process", Krieger said in a statement.

Chamling said though he noticed the number of soda sales only drop "a bit", repealing the tax would help the county's small businesses that rely on soda sales.

Cook County in IL, which comprises Chicago and many of its inner suburbs, has repealed its four-month-old tax on sugary soft drinks, known locally as the pop tax. But even he couldn't make moves against large beverage corporations, who obviously opposed a tax.

Cook County Puts the Kibosh On the Beverage Tax