Chicago Rethinks Soda Tax

Posted October 12, 2017

Voters were also asked whether they were less likely to vote for a pro-tax Cook County commissioner.

"Today, I voted with 15 of my colleagues on the Cook County Board of Commissioners to repeal the Soda Tax", said Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer (D-10) in a written statement.

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The tax prompted lawsuits, a warning from a federal agency that IL could lose millions in funding for food stamp benefits and complaints of plummeting sales from store owners. Supporters of the tax claimed that it would've raised $200 million in the 2018 fiscal year budget, beginning December 1.

Proponents of the tax claimed it would improve public health by discouraging the purchase of sugary drinks, which have been connected to health issues like obesity and Type 2 diabetes. "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.

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Cook County, which includes Chicago, became the largest jurisdiction in the enact the tax on sugary and artificially sweetened beverages when the board approved it in November with Board President Toni Preckwinkle as the deciding vote.

Gainer said she is committed to working with Preckwinkle and her colleagues "to approach the 2018 budget line-by-line and find alternate ways to close the budget gap".

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"But it is also a stark reminder that public health benefits alone are not enough to enact and sustain a new sweetened beverage tax", the coalition said in a statement. San Francisco and Seattle will impose similar taxes January 1.