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Soda Pop Tax to Change in Cook County Illinois

Soda pop

Because of the negative backlash over the soda tax, the Cook County Board of Commissioners will decide on Oct 11, 2017, about the future of the tax.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the soda pop tax will be removed by Dec 1, should the board come to this decision. The tax that Cook County Board President, Preckwinkle tacked on the state has been declared more of a burden than an aid.

Preckwinkle claims to have put the tax in place because, “It’s about whether or not we want Cook County to be healthier, safer and more efficient, or if we are willing to go backward [sic] and let cook county become sicker, less safe and less efficient.”

She does not side with outside claims that this is a method to bring more money into the state, yet her point is that the rise in sugar consumption is having adverse effects and costing healthcare systems more money.

However, data reveals that instead of raising money for the county three retailers report a decline in sales for their store in the area between 6 and 39 percent.

There is a public outcry regarding this tax and Cook County consumers are revolting by traveling to the neighboring state, Indiana, as there are no sugar or food taxes.

According to the Chicago Tribune, this tax was designed to help cover a budget shortfall. In other U.S. cities, it has been documented the soda pop tax has proven successful. The Cook County board initially contended that “the anticipated $200 million a year in soda tax revenue would balance the county’s budget, responsibly and thoughtfully.”

Moreover, other commissioners believe that there are different ways to increase the budget and accumulation of revenue. Some even introduced the idea of legalizing recreational marijuana to bring in the much needed extra cash to the county.

The legalization of marijuana versus the soda pop tax could solve multiple county issues. It is not only about money, but it is also about health and then the legal systems.

Whether or not the soda pop tax was created for the benefit of the health of the county is not the issue. It is the consumers, who this tax effects if it is considered a benefit to their health or a burden to their pockets.

Preckwinkle had good intentions when she came up with the idea to have this tax brought to the forefront. She had the health of the citizens in mind. As records show, this change and this topic alone has brought a lot of controversy surrounding what is right and what is wrong regarding the soda pop tax.

Written by Alexandria Martin
Edited by Cathy Milne

Sources:

Politifact Illinois: Cook County soda tax should make a dent in consumption
Chicago Tribune: Preckwinkle’s courageous stance on the soda tax
Chicago Tribune: The doomed soda tax was never about our health
Chicago Tribune: How Preckwinkle’s pop tax backfired

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of SeveStJude’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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