Cook County IL, which includes the city of Chicago, has repealed the recently-implemented tax on soda after a 15-2 vote by the Cook County Board of Commissioners. The controversial tax, which charged a penny per ounce on sweetened beverages, leaves an estimated $200 million hole in the county’s 2018 budget.
“We can find $200 million,” said Commissioner Sean Morrison (R-Palos Park), who introduced the repeal motion. “This is a new horizon for Cook County and if we think outside of the box we can come up with things.”
Boulder, CO, Philadelphia, PA, San Francisco, Oakland and Albany, CA, have all endorsed taxes on sugary beverages despite the soda industry’s protests. The 1.5-cent-per-ounce Philadelphia tax includes beverages sweetened with stevia. The tax was upheld in June by a Pennsylvania court.
Cook County was the largest region in the U.S. to legislate tax on sweetened beverages. The repeal will go into effect Dec. 1, reports the Chicago Sun.