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12 October 2017, 12:24 | Vera Richards
Cook County Commissioners Sour on Sugary Drinks Tax
The Cook County Board of Commissioners voted, 15-2, to repeal a penny-per-ounce tax that went into effect on August 2.
The Philadelphia Beverage Tax, which went into effect in January, levies a 1.5-cents-per-ounce tax on a variety of sweet drinks, including sodas, fruit drinks, energy drinks, flavored water and re-sweetened coffee and teas.
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.
The tax repeal faces a final vote from the full board this week. The tax has been tormented in its very short life by legitimate challenges, execution glitches, and a howling multimillion-dollar media battle amongst the soda industry and public health groups.
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Even if the repeal succeeds, Cook County residents and visitors will still pay a tax on sports drinks, diet colas and sweetened beverages throughout the fall, as the repeal measure doesn't take effect until December 1.
Supporters of the movement which involve many top public health groups former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg have promoted the taxes as a symbol to combat obesity while also erecting earnings for confined administration. "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.
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After Wednesday's vote, Preckwinkle indicated she wouldn't be taking the lead in adjusting the county's finances. They have until November 30 to approve a budget.
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