County officials to vote to repeal Chicago-area soda tax

As Cook County commissioners are set to vote to repeal a tax on sweetened beverages on Tuesday, a new poll finds that the millions of dollars in ads spent by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg may not have done much to sway public opinion.

Store owners, drink companies and bottlers all battled the tax.

After delays related to a lawsuit from the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, the tax on sugary beverages went into effect this past August. "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. "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. "Beverage taxes are really a money grab that has nothing to do with public health".

"Because of provisions in IL tax law - unique to this state and not relevant to adoption of taxes elsewhere - the Cook County tax was quite different than those in other cities".

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Grace said Cook County's repeal "should serve as a harsh wake-up call" to elected officials in Philadelphia.

Cook County, which includes Chicago, was the largest jurisdiction in the country with a soda tax.

Some retailers opposed to the tax posted signs in the soda aisle telling customers they will pay $1.44 more on each 12-pack of soda because of the tax, and urging them to tell their county commissioner to repeal it.

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

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