July 21, 2018

Chicago Commissioners Vote to Repeal Soda Tax

11 October 2017, 01:18 | Dale Webster

Controversial tax on soda in Cook County Ill. could end up on the chopping block

Controversial tax on soda in Cook County Ill. could end up on the chopping block

Voters were also asked whether they were less likely to vote for a pro-tax Cook County commissioner. The tax was expected to raise $200 million per year.

A Chicago-area tax on soft drinks and other sugary beverages that angered some consumers and merchants was headed for repeal after a pivotal government vote on Tuesday to end it.

The 15-1 vote, if it stands at the full board meeting, would be more than enough to survive a possible veto by County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Repeal could force the closure of community health centers, delay property tax bills and force the county to borrow money to purchase "new election equipment to protect our voting systems from cyber attacks", Preckwinkle said.

Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer is hosting a public forum on Wednesday Oct. 18 to discuss ideas to improve the county. Their voices and opposition to the tax have been clear and consistent. "We look forward to tomorrow's vote by the Cook County Board".

"While I am disappointed in today's outcome, I am grateful to the dedicated public health advocates at the American Heart Association and the Illinois Public Health Institute who have supported us every step of the way". As I outlined last week, it is up to the commissioners to choose our direction on revenue, and I respect their authority to do so. Pollsters asked the same question in early August, with nearly 87 percent opposing the tax then - a statistically insignificant change.

Cook County commissioner John Fritchey, a Democrat from Chicago, suggested taxing legalized recreational marijuana as an alternative revenue source in lieu of a soda tax, and is introducing a county board resolution to do so.

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