Low-tax advocates cheered the decision as a blow to the "nanny-state crusade".
Despite warnings from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle of steep budget cuts across the county if her pop tax was repealed, the Cook County Board Committee rejected her sweetened beverage tax 15-1 on Tuesday, Oct. 10, after a almost four-hour session.
"Today, I voted with 15 of my colleagues on the Cook County Board of Commissioners to repeal the Soda Tax", said Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer (D-10) in a written statement. The tax added a $1.28 tax for a gallon of zero-calorie iced tea.
Amidst the identification of increasing public pressure Cook County's Board of Commissioners is anticipated to vote to roll back the tax, effective from December 1.
Bloomberg has taken his anti-soda campaign nationally with little success.
Of course there will be layoffs, everything's on the table, says Preckwinkle, but she's putting the ball in the commissioners court to say where $200M of cuts should come from.
Health clinics, prosecutors and public defenders could be impacted as well as perhaps security for local elections and even the mailing of property tax bills on time, she said.
But the critics emphasize that the disintegration of the Cook County tax is evidence that the national soda tax movement is mislay its impetus. In theory, it sounds like a small sacrifice that could lead to big changes, but would it have really helped if enough people in Cook County are hell-bent on traveling elsewhere to get their sugar fix?
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.
But Hecky Powell, who owns Hecky's Barbeque, said the tax had caused a roughly 20-percent drop in soda sales at the restaurant.
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