The Debate Over Sugar Tax Sparks Again, Following Cook County’s Repeal

The Debate Over Sugar Tax Sparks Again, Following Cook County’s Repeal

Last week, the penny-per-ounce soda tax on consumers, implemented by Cook County early August of this year, was repealed after much push-back from the public and heavy lobbying from Chicago’s business community.

Foodable first reported on the controversial tax last year, when five U.S. local governments (San Francisco, Oakland, Albany, Boulder, Cook County) passed tax measures on sugary drinks following the example of cities like Berkeley, Ca. and Philadelphia, Pa.

Cook County was the largest local government to implement the soda tax and the only entity to tax consumers directly rather than the distributors of the sugary beverages like in the rest of the cities.

After just two months of being in effect, the sugar tax will end by Nov. 30, the end of the Cook County budget fiscal year, thanks to a 15-2 vote by the county’s Board of Commissioners, according to The Chicago Sun-Times.

Critics of the tax repeal point to aggressive ads by the beverage industry criticizing commissioners for plans to allocate the revenue from the soda tax to help cover budget deficits as one of the reasons why big soda was able to convince the public the measure was not a good idea in the first place.

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