Pop Tax Repeal OK Expected Today In Cook County Committee Vote

Chicago Rethinks Soda Tax

Voters were also asked whether they were less likely to vote for a pro-tax Cook County commissioner. It applies not just to soda, but also to sports drinks, iced tea and lemonade, and comes on top of beverage taxes imposed by IL and Chicago.

Cook County in IL, which comprises Chicago and many of its inner suburbs, has repealed its four-month-old tax on sugary soft drinks, known locally as the pop tax.

After delays related to a lawsuit from the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, the tax on sugary beverages went into effect this past August. Almost 77 percent of those polled said they believed the tax was in order to raise money, with 11.71 percent saying it was meant to "improve health".

The tax, which was projected to raise $200 million annually, raised $16 million from August 3 to September 20, approximately $2 million less than expected, according to Frank Shuftan, a spokesman for Preckwinkle.

Tuesday's vote was a test run via the finance committee.

Bloomberg has spent $5 million on ads supporting the Cook County sweetened beverage tax - citing the health benefits of fewer pop sales. For instance, he said, a sweet bottled drink would be taxed while a similar beverage from a barista would be exempt.

Commissioners voted 15-1 in favor of repealing the so-called soda tax.

Preckwinkle and commissioners will have to decide how they will fill an approximate $200 million budget hole that the tax would have satisfied.

Gainer said she is committed to working with Preckwinkle and her colleagues "to approach the 2018 budget line-by-line and find alternate ways to close the budget gap".

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