Cook County Commissioners Sour on Sugary Drinks Tax

Cook County Commissioners Sour on Sugary Drinks Tax

Cook County Commissioners Sour on Sugary Drinks Tax

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's meddlesome agenda was dealt a blow Wednesday when Illinois' Cook County voted to repeal its soda tax just months after it was adopted. Cook County, which includes Chicago, was the largest jurisdiction in the country with a soda tax.

Suffredin also highlights one other important component of the repeal that not many have talked about.

"I respect the commissioners who believe that repealing this tax was the right thing to do, and I respect the people of the county who weighed in on this tax and let their voices be heard". This money could have been used to reduce overall county taxpayer support for these sectors. "A measure that prevents diabetes, heart disease and obesity in Cook County by reducing consumption of unhealthy sugary drinks is no longer protecting the public's health".

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.

The proposal would phase out the tax on December 1, at the start of the new fiscal year. "Today's events also underscore the fact that the beverage industry, with its virtually unlimited financial resources, will stop at nothing to halt or overturn beverage taxes that threaten its profits and its ability to market sugar-sweetened drinks to the communities it claims to care about".

When the tax originally passed, eight commissioners voted for it and eight voted against it, with Preckwinkle casting the tiebreaking vote to pass the measure.

"And yet in this tax and spend, Democrat-run city, consumers forced the city council to cough up their recent tax hike and repeal the soda tax", Grover Norquist, president of the anti-tax Americans for Tax Reform, said in a statement.

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 county, which includes Chicago and its suburbs, was the sixth USA municipality to tax sweetened drinks. San Francisco and Seattle will impose similar taxes January 1.

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