Cook County Finance Committee Votes To Can The Soda Tax


Cook County commissioners have voted to repeal the very unpopular penny-per-ounce pop tax.

Morrison and Frank Shuftan, spokesman for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, both said statements would be issued after today's vote.

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.

The tax has been plagued, in its very short life, by legal challenges, implementation glitches, and a screeching, multi-million-dollar media battle between the soda industry and public health groups. It has brought in $16 million to the county so far. The repeal will now go to a full board vote on Wednesday, where it is expected to receive final approval.

"As I noted last month, the difficult fight for this revenue has focused me on what matters most: doing the hard work necessary to build a healthier, safer and more efficient Cook County". People living near the border of Cook County were willing to drive a short distance to avoid the tax.

The Chicago Tribune reported that 12 out of 17 commissioners have signed on to repeal the sugary drink tax ordinance-enough to override a veto by the board president. "We look forward to tomorrow's vote by the Cook County Board". The tax was greeted with 87% disapproval from the public. The nonpartisan Tax Foundation recently released a report critical of the efficacy of Philadelphia's soda tax, noting that "despite constituent support for the programs funded by the tax, the actual revenue for programs remains unstable due to poor collection performance, with potential that those revenues will continue to fall".