County officials to vote to repeal Chicago-area soda tax

The debate over the pop tax has blanketed Chicago area airwaves, with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg bankrolling $5 million worth of ads touting the health benefits of reducing the amount of sugar consumed by county residents.

The Cook County Board of Commissioners voted, 15-2, to repeal a penny-per-ounce tax that went into effect on August 2. The vote came just more than two months after the tax took effect August 2.

The tax repeal faces a final vote from the full board this week. In the latest poll, about 79 percent said they would not support a commissioner for re-election should they support the tax.

Proponents of the tax claimed it would improve public health by discouraging the purchase of sugary drinks, which have been connected to health issues like obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

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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".

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. The Illinois Retail Merchants Association, which unsuccessfully sued to try to stop the tax, called the repeal "great news for consumers and retailers".

After Wednesday's vote, Preckwinkle indicated she wouldn't be taking the lead in adjusting the county's finances.

In her 20018 budget address last week, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, a supporter of the soda tax, reportedly argued that an estimated $200 million a year from the tax would help avoid budget cuts.

  • Rita Burton