Share the article: ICYMI: Taxpayers Rejoice After Soda Tax Repeal, But Chicago Democrats Open Door To Other Tax Hikes

Will “tax fatigue” stop Dem gov candidates from endorsing additional tax hikes?

In a major grassroots victory for Cook County families and taxpayers, the Cook County Board voted yesterday to repeal Toni Preckwinkle’s dreaded Soda Tax. Preckwinkle’s money grab will end on December 1st, but Chicago Democrats have opened the door for new tax hikes, as one Democrat says, “all taxes are in play.”

Poll after poll after poll revealed the Soda Tax’s huge unpopularity, but those polls never pushed the Democrat candidates for governor into action as they sought to curry favor with the Chicago Machine. One candidate, J.B. Pritzker, even pushed the envelope and opposed Springfield legislation that would’ve stopped Chicago politicians from exporting their soda tax to cities and towns across Illinois. Additional tax hikes will most likely be as unpopular as the Soda Tax.

Voters will remember that the Democrat candidates for governor sat on their hands while Illinois families paid the price for Toni Preckwinkle’s lies, but will “tax fatigue” stop those same candidates from endorsing additional tax hikes in Cook County? After the Democrat candidates endorsed Mike Madigan’s 32% tax hike, they will all likely tow the line and stand with Preckwinkle as further taxes may be raised.

News outlets in Illinois and across the country have been following the Soda Tax closely and extensively covered yesterday’s repeal vote:

Fox News: Chicago’s soda tax repealed, in blow to ‘nanny-state crusade’

The Cook County Board voted Wednesday to repeal the Chicago-area county’s controversial soda tax, after a public backlash to the penny-per-ounce charge.

Low-tax advocates cheered the decision as a blow to the “nanny-state crusade.” Cook County, which includes Chicago, was the largest jurisdiction in the country with a soda tax.

USA Today: Soda tax goes flat in Chicago area’s Cook County after clash over health, taxes, sales

A Chicago-area soda tax went flat Wednesday, potentially putting the future of similar measures across the U.S. in jeopardy following a bitter clash between the soda industry, public officials and public health advocates.

A Cook County board committee voted 15-2 to repeal the penny-per-ounce tax after a backlash from store owners, drink companies and bottlers. Cook County includes Chicago and many suburban areas.

CBS Chicago: Cook County Board Overwhelmingly Votes to Repeal Soda Tax

Cook County’s soda tax has officially lost its fizzle. Commissioners voted Wednesday afternoon to repeal the widely unpopular tax, effective Dec. 1.

…Though conciliatory in tone, Preckwinkle never said she had made a mistake in backing the penny-an-ounce sweetened beverage tax.

The 15-2 vote reflected the overwhelming opposition the tax faced among Cook County residents. Recent polls showed more than 85 percent of people in the county were against the tax.

…Commissioner Sean Morrison led the repeal fight.

“It was the citizens who made this. The citizens who made the phone calls, who wrote the letters. Without their involvement, this likely would not have passed,” Morrison said.

WTTW: Cook County Soda Tax Repealed

Come December, Cook County shoppers and diners will no longer have to swallow and pay a much-reviled tax on sugary drinks after the county board voted Wednesday to repeal it.

The penny-an-ounce tax has only been in effect since August, but a groundswell of public frustration, buttressed by a “Can the Tax” campaign bankrolled by soda companies and retailers, quickly amassed to pressure politicians.

NBC Chicago: Cook County Soda Tax to Be Repealed

The official vote came [yesterday], but Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is predicting tough cuts ahead without the soda tax revenue. NBC 5 political reporter Mary Ann Ahern reports.

ABC Chicago: Cook County Board votes to repeal sweetened beverage tax

The Chicago-area’s penny-per-ounce tax on soda and sweetened drinks was repealed Wednesday after a months long conflict that included a court battle and millions of dollars’ worth of television ads on both sides.

The Cook County Board voted 15-2 to end the tax starting December 1. The vote came just more than two months after the tax took effect August 2.

In a near unanimous vote, the Cook County Board repealed the unpopular sugary drink tax on Wednesday.

Associated Press: County officials vote to repeal Chicago-area soda tax

The Chicago-area’s penny-per-ounce tax on soda and sweetened drinks was repealed Wednesday after a monthslong conflict that included a court battle and millions of dollars’ worth of television ads on both sides.

The Cook County Board voted 15-2 to end the tax starting Dec. 1. The vote came just more than two months after the tax took effectAug. 2.

Chicago Sun-Times: Cook County Board repeals soda tax

The tax has been controversial since it was narrowly passed by the board. Preckwinkle cast the deciding vote when commissioners deadlocked on the measure.

…Commissioner Sean Morrison (R-Palos Park), who introduced the repeal motion, said now is the time to consider “appropriate fiscal solutions.” He was optimistic about the upcoming budget talks, saying “this is the time for a new fiscal course for Cook County.”

Chicago Tribune: Cook County retailers cheer soda tax repeal: ‘This was a nightmare’

Daniel Stein estimates Cook County’s sweetened beverage tax has cost his vending machine company about $75,000 so far, a figure that doesn’t even include lost sales.

The Dec. 1 repeal of the penny-per-ounce tax on sugar and artificially sweetened beverages likely will cost him more before it’s all over. He’ll again have to send technicians to his 850 or so vending machines in Cook County to adjust the price of products. But Stein feels only happiness and relief that the tax that’s consumed his life for months will soon go away.

“I don’t want to sound judgy but this whole thing has been kind of unfortunate. I’m just glad it’s almost over. … Closure is good,” said Stein, owner of Northbrook-based Mark Vend.

Daily Herald: Cook County soda tax dumped; Preckwinkle blames ‘tax fatigue’

…Preckwinkle has won both previous terms by wide margins, but her popularity has dipped in recent months due to her steadfast support of the tax, which she said had the dual purpose of increasing the health of residents and sparing the county from layoffs.

…The repeal effort in recent months became a nationally watched battle, with former New York mayor and billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg spending $13 million to keep the tax in place and the beverage and restaurant industry spending millions to can it.

Elgin Courier-News: Elgin businesses welcome repeal of ‘agressive, regressive’ pop tax

Elgin-area business owners near the Kane County border celebrated the repeal Wednesday of Cook County’s short-lived tax on sweetened beverages.

“I am very pleased the commissioners — most of the commissioners — listened to their constituents over this arduous ordinance,” said David Bear, of the Bear Family McDonald’s franchise, which includes locations in Elgin, South Elgin and other places inside and outside Cook County.

Chicago Sun-Times: SWEET: Big Soda beats Bloomberg in Cook County tax fight

…The Cook County pop tax: Conceived Nov. 10, 2016, when Cook County Board members approved the one-cent-per-ounce Sweetened Beverage Tax. Born on Aug. 2, 2017, its effective date. Date of death was decreed by a 15-2 repeal vote on Wednesday. The tax dies at the end of the county fiscal year, midnight on Nov. 30.

Bloomberg is crusading for higher taxes on sugary drinks as a way to reduce the obesity epidemic in this nation, with allies including the American Heart Association, active in the Cook County fight.

…In 2017, however, Bloomberg’s team is hitting a rough patch when it comes to beverage taxes. Will the Cook County repeal give the beverage industry anti-tax drive momentum?

Washington Post: Chicago’s soda tax fizzled after 2 months. What does it mean for the anti-soda movement?

Less than two months after the country’s largest soda tax went into effect, embattled lawmakers in Cook County are already poised to repeal it.

The tax has been plagued, in its very short life, by legal challenges, implementation glitches and a screeching, multimillion-dollar media battle between the soda industry and public health groups. On Tuesday, in recognition of growing public pressure, Cook County’s Board of Commissioners is expected to vote to roll back the tax, effective as soon as Dec. 1.

Chicago Tribune: Commentary: Why I voted to keep Cook County’s soda tax

Unfortunately, repeal of the sweetened beverage tax also repeals the law that prohibited the raising of any taxes by Cook County until after 2020. This tax limitation covered property taxes, sales taxes and home-rule excise taxes. The repeal of the tax limitation means all taxes are in play.

Washington Examiner: Michael Bloomberg wasted $10 million trying to convince Chicago-area Cook County to keep its soda tax

Residents of Cook County, Ill., which encompasses Chicago are celebrating a much-needed win for consumer freedom on Wednesday, with the Board of Commissioners opting to repeal the wildly-unpopular sweetened beverage tax in a landslide vote of 15-2.

…But basing budget plans on a tax that applies to a narrow category of products, especially ones whose popularity is declining, is a poor approach to public finance. Lawmakers never know how consumers will react to such a tax putting serious question marks over their revenue projections.

Soda taxes are doubly objectionable because they have a disproportionate impact on the poor. Soda taxes necessarily hit low-income consumers the hardest because they spend a higher proportion of their budget on groceries than high-income families.

Forbes: Chicago-Area Soda Tax Repealed Despite Billionaire Bloomberg’s Ad Buys

The Cook County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday voted to repeal a controversial penny-per-ounce soda tax after a public outcry and intense lobbying by Chicago’s business community.

The vote comes despite a recent multi-million-dollar advertising blitz in the Chicago media market by billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg to save the Cook County “sweetened beverage tax.” Bloomberg, while mayor of New York, was unsuccessful in banning super-sized sugary drinks in the city.


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