Chicago's Cook County Makes Deal to Repeal 'Soda Tax'

Nick Kangadis | October 6, 2017
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Well, that didn’t last long.

Almost a month and a half after Cook County in Illinois, where the city of Chicago resides, instituted a $.01 per ounce sweetened beverage tax, commonly known as the “Soda Tax,” a deal has been struck to effectively repeal the hugely unpopular tax.

According to Fox 32 - Chicago:

Commissioner Sean Morrison said Friday 11 other commissioners now support his measure to repeal the penny-per-ounce tax. That's enough votes to repeal the unpopular tax when it's called for a vote next week and to withstand any potential veto.

Morrisson says the tax would be repealed effective Dec. 1, the start of the county's new fiscal year.

Here is a portion of what the Sweetened Beverage Tax entailed:

Sweetened beverage means any non-alcoholic beverage, carbonated or non-carbonated, which is intended for human consumption and contains any caloric sweetener or non-caloric sweetener, and is available for sale in a bottle or produced for sale through the use of syrup and/or powder. Sweetened beverage does not include (1) beverages consisting of 100% natural fruit or vegetable juice; (2) beverages in which milk, or soy, rice, or similar milk substitute, makes up more than 50% of the beverage or is the first listed ingredient on the label of the beverage; (3) beverages to which a purchaser can add, or can request that a retailer add, caloric sweetener or non-caloric sweetener; (4) infant formula; (5) beverages for medical use; (6) any liquid sold as a therapeutic nutritional meal replacement or for use for weight reduction as a meal replacement; or (7) any syrup or powder that the purchaser himself or herself combines with other ingredients to create a beverage. 

However, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who was one of the sponsors of the tax that previously said the tax “would make residents healthier and raise enough money to balance the county's budget,” is now saying that without the tax Cook County would, as a result of the repeal, have to make “deep cuts on health care and public safety.”

Preckwinkle’s reasons for the institution are directly contradicted by her saying that the county would have make cuts to health care. If she was so concerned for people’s health, then of all things, why would you suggest to cut health care spending to compensate for the loss in revenue from the repeal of the soda tax?

Score one for not being taxed to death because of personal preferences.