Chicago's soda tax repealed, in blow to 'nanny-state crusade'

Chicago's soda tax repealed, in blow to 'nanny-state crusade'

Chicago's soda tax repealed, in blow to 'nanny-state crusade'

The repeal of a sweetened beverage tax in the Chicago area on Wednesday renewed calls for Philadelphia to end its own, more expensive tax.

Cook County's soda tax has officially lost its fizzle.

After delays related to a lawsuit from the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, the tax on sugary beverages went into effect this past August. But among its supporters were health advocates such as billionaire Michael Bloomberg, whose super PAC ran more than $2 million worth of ads defending the tax as a way to fight obesity and other health conditions. "Today's events also underscore the fact that the beverage industry, with its virtually unlimited financial resources, will stop at nothing to halt or overturn beverage taxes that threaten its profits and its ability to market sugar-sweetened drinks to the communities it claims to care about".

As for how she misread pop tax opposition so badly, she said, "We're in a very hard time in this country politically".

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The tax repeal faces a final vote from the full board this week. Preckwinkle has said there could be an 11 percent budget cut resulting in layoffs with repeal of the tax.

Cook County, which includes Chicago, became the largest jurisdiction in the enact the tax on sugary and artificially sweetened beverages when the board approved it in November with Board President Toni Preckwinkle as the deciding vote. "Beverage taxes are really a money grab that has nothing to do with public health".

The tax passed past year when Board President Toni Preckwinkle cast the deciding vote after commissioners deadlocked on the measure.

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