On Thursday, Nov 10, the Cook Co Board passed the One-Cent per ounce “Soda Tax” by 1 vote today, with Board President Toni Preckwinkle breaking an 8-8 tie.
The new tax will be applied to more than sodas, but to all drinks with sweetners, including sweet teas and certain types of coffees. It’s projected to bring in Millions of dollars more to the County treasury. Supporters say they hope the higher cost of sugary drinks, will discourage as much consumption, and help to prevent the spread of diabetes
Opponents, note that this will increase the cost of buying meals and drinks at small restaurants and convenience stores, and could be most harmful to low income residents.
In an earlier interview with the Illinois Channel, Illinois Retail Merchants Assn., President Rob Karr, noted the higher sales tax in Cook County is already a deterrent to consumers buying products in Cook County. He argued, before the vote was taken, that increasing the cost by one-cent an ounce would drive the cost of soda up by more than $3 a case, when you add in the sales tax.
Chicago now joins several other cities around the nation to have implemented such a tax.