Preckwinkle's sweetened beverage tax repealed

Alicia Cross
October 12, 2017

As Cook County commissioners are set to vote to repeal a tax on sweetened beverages on Tuesday, a new poll finds that the millions of dollars in ads spent by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg may not have done much to sway public opinion.

Low-tax advocates cheered the decision as a blow to the "nanny-state crusade".

Healthy Food America's executive director Dr. Jim Krieger said that Cook County's success in repealing the sweetened beverage tax was unique to state's tax legislation; and that it would not stop the momentum of other taxes that have taken effect across the U.S., including Philadelphia and Seattle earlier this year. "It's not too late for Philadelphia's elected officials to follow suit and repeal our city's regressive, discriminatory and under-performing beverage tax".

Proponents of the tax claimed it would improve public health by discouraging the purchase of sugary drinks, which have been connected to health issues like obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

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Philadelphians for a Fair Future, a coalition of 81 organizations that support the soda tax, called the Cook County repeal "unfortunate". Opponents of the tax included retailers and the American Beverage Association. For instance, he said, a sweet bottled drink would be taxed while a similar beverage from a barista would be exempt. They also said that the tax would've helped combat sugary beverages.

Of course there will be layoffs, everything's on the table, says Preckwinkle, but she's putting the ball in the commissioners court to say where $200M of cuts should come from.

Revenue was a factor.

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