Sábado, 16 Diciembre, 2017

Cook County soda tax repeal garners mixed reactions from Evanston restaurants

Cook County Commissioners Sour on Sugary Drinks Tax Preckwinkle's sweetened beverage tax repealed
Eloisa Felix | Octubre 13, 2017, 09:41

The county board's president, Toni Preckwinkle, had vigorously defended the penny-per-ounce tax, which had been forecast to raise $200 million annually, on both public-health and fiscal grounds, backed by an advertising push from Michael Bloomberg, the former NY mayor.

After several hours of testimony, the Cook County Board's Finance Committee voted 15 to 1 in favor of ending the controversial tax on Tuesday.

"What has happened in Cook County and places like Philadelphia should be a warning sign to any community considering a beverage tax to balance its budget", the coalition said in a statement October 11. "Although the tax's impact on local communities has been significant, we are inspired by the way Cook County residents channeled their outrage into an overwhelming grassroots response".

The former New York City mayor spent at least $5 million on ads supporting the Cook County tax and vowed to spend "whatever it takes" to reelect commissioners who supported it.

Mt. Everest Restaurant manager Vishal Chamling also said the soda tax hadn't significantly impacted his business, as soda is not popular among his clientele.

Not surprisingly, supporters of the tax decried the repeal as a blow to public health.

Though the soda tax was heavily debated in local governments, some Evanston business owners said its effects were minimal - echoing sentiments from a year ago when commissioners first enacted 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.

With the soda tax repealed, Preckwinkle called on commissioners to help her solve an expected $200 million revenue shortfall.

"Nothing good has come from Cook County's beverage tax". Krieger further criticized efforts by "Big Soda" to oppose the tax.