Cook County Commissioners Sour on Sugary Drinks Tax
12 October, 2017, 00:24
The only two commissioners to vote against the tax were Evanston Democrat Larry Suffredin and Chicago Democrat Jerry Butler. In the latest poll, about 79 percent said they would not support a commissioner for re-election should they support the tax.
Since the tax went into effect on August 2, 2017, it has generated $16m in additional revenue for the county, a spokesperson from Preckwinkle's office told BeverageDaily.
The measure likely to be endorsed by the county board's finance committee Tuesday would end the tax on December 1.
The Cook County Board voted Wednesday to repeal the Chicago-area county's controversial soda tax, after a public backlash to the penny-per-ounce charge.
The tax, which was projected to raise $200 million annually, raised $16 million from August 3 to September 20, approximately $2 million less than expected, according to Frank Shuftan, a spokesman for Preckwinkle. For instance, he said, a sweet bottled drink would be taxed while a similar beverage from a barista would be exempt.
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.
Grace said Cook County's repeal "should serve as a harsh wake-up call" to elected officials in Philadelphia.
In her 20018 budget address last week, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, a supporter of the soda tax, reportedly argued that an estimated $200 million a year from the tax would help avoid budget cuts.
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