Bloomberg's Cook County Soda Tax Repealed Months After its Implementation

Bloomberg's Cook County Soda Tax Repealed Months After its Implementation

The committee on Tuesday voted 15-1 for repeal of the tax.

"And yet in this tax and spend, Democrat-run city, consumers forced the city council to cough up their recent tax hike and repeal the soda tax", Grover Norquist, president of the anti-tax Americans for Tax Reform, said in a statement.

The Philadelphia Beverage Tax, which went into effect in January, levies a 1.5-cents-per-ounce tax on a variety of sweet drinks, including sodas, fruit drinks, energy drinks, flavored water and re-sweetened coffee and teas. Groceries, restaurants and convenience stores complained the tax was driving consumers to neighboring jurisdictions to avoid the tax.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is making the rounds Thursday to answer questions about what comes next now that the pop tax is killed. As well, residents of Cook County, already one of the highest-taxed localities in the nation, resented the nanny-state measure and deemed it unfair because it included artificially sweetened calorie-free beverages and exempted food stamp recipients from paying the tax.

Collections under Cook County's soda tax commenced on August 2, quickly kicking up a public backlash. "IL law required that the tax be levied on consumers, while all other cities tax beverage distributors, which is a simpler process", Krieger said in a statement.

Not surprisingly, supporters of the tax decried the repeal as a blow to public health. "Beverage taxes are really a money grab that has nothing to do with public health".

Grace, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 830, called on Mayor Jim Kenney and City Council to repeal the city's own sweetened beverage tax.

When the tax originally passed, eight commissioners voted for it and eight voted against it, with Preckwinkle casting the tiebreaking vote to pass the measure. He added that the soda tax had only affected "a small number of people".