The proposal would phase out the tax on December 1, at the start of the new fiscal year. In theory, it sounds like a small sacrifice that could lead to big changes, but would it have really helped if enough people in Cook County are hell-bent on traveling elsewhere to get their sugar fix? "The loss of business caused by this burdensome and regressive tax stunned local grocery stores and community members".
"We are pleased that Cook County commissioners heard the concerns of constituents and grocers and voted to repeal the county's beverage tax", said Jennifer Hatcher, chief public policy officer of the Arlington, Va. -based Food Marketing Institute.
Collections under Cook County's soda tax commenced on August 2, quickly kicking up a public backlash.
Had the tax been carried out, it was anticipated that it could raise an estimate of over $500 million per year in revenue for the state, and significantly cut costs for health issues like obesity, according to a Harvard study shared by the Tribune. She also warned any tinkering with the soda tax would force the county to slash spending on health and criminal justice programs by 11 percent.
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.
On Oct. 5, Preckwinkle argued the tax was needed to close gaps in her proposed $5.4 billion budget for FY 2018. But since all commissioners are on the finance committee, the vote leaves little doubt as to what will happen during Wednesday's regular board meeting. Sweetened drinks prepared to order at restaurants and other locations are not subject to the tax. San Francisco and Seattle will impose similar taxes January 1.
This year, attempts to enact soda taxes in Santa Fe, N.M., and statewide in MA and West Virginia failed. Bloomberg is the founder of the financial data and media company Bloomberg L.P. Bloomberg BNA is an affiliate of Bloomberg L.P.
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