Chicago Merchants Celebrate Beverage Tax Repeal
Local residents and businesses are cheering the Cook County Board of Commissioners’ repeal of the penny-per-ounce tax on sweetened beverages.
It was a sweet victory on Oct. 11, when the Cook County Board of Commissioners repealed the controversial beverage tax it passed last year.
The tax, which took effect in August, was an attempt to close a budget shortfall. It placed a penny-an-ounce tariff on soda and sugary beverages. The board voted 15-2 to end the tax, which had angered both consumers and business owners.
The Can the Tax Coalition, led by the American Beverage Association, opposed the beverage tax. In its statement, it applauded the repeal of the unfair and onerous tax. “Nothing good has come from Cook County’s beverage tax,” the statement read. “Residents and consumers have been forced to pay more on over 1,000 everyday beverages, including diet drinks. Higher prices have led to significant consumer flight, declining beverage sales have reached nearly 50 percent in some retailers and restaurants, and people have lost their jobs.”
The National Restaurant Association congratulated leadership of the American Beverage Association, Illinois Retail Merchants Association, the Illinois Restaurant Association and merchants throughout the Chicagoland area on the win and for convincing elected officials to abandon the shortsighted measure.