Cook County officials to vote to repeal Chicago-area soda tax

11 October, 2017, 01:15 | Author: Oscar Goodwin
  • County Commission President Toni Preckwinkle

County Board Commissioner Richard Boykin, who has led the charge against the tax, has proposed cutting spending and eliminating vacant positions to make up for the revenue generated by the tax, which added 68 cents to the price of a 2-liter bottle and 72 cents to the cost of a six-pack.

Hopefully, that brings more good news for Cook County consumers.

The repeal is a heavy loss for the tax's chief advocate, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, who cast the deciding vote that broke an 8-8 tie when the law was approved in November 2016.

Cook County, Ill.'s tax on sugary drinks, which impacts Chicago and surrounding areas, could disappear by December 1.

"Today the board exercised its collective will and set in motion a repeal of the sweetened beverage tax we approved past year". The repeal measure still would face a final vote before the board on Wednesday. The tax went into effect on August 2, and has faced public backlash fueled by a repeal campaign funded by the American Beverage Association. Preckwinkle has said there could be an 11 percent budget cut resulting in layoffs with repeal of the tax.

"Consumer outrage is off the charts, " said David Goldenberg, a spokesman for the industry-funded Can the Tax Coalition.

Last Thursday Preckwinkle lost a key ally when Cook County Board finance chairman John Daley announced he would no longer support the tax. However, those supporting repeal say they have enough votes to override a veto. People living near the border of Cook County were willing to drive a short distance to avoid the tax. "We look forward to tomorrow's vote by the Cook County Board". Pollsters asked the same question in early August, with nearly 87 percent opposing the tax then - a statistically insignificant change.

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