Cook County Crushes Beverage Tax

Beverage taxes lasted just two months in Cook County, Ill., before commissioners voted to repeal the tax by a 15-2 vote, due to the massive public outcry against this tax.

The commissioners “can blame themselves for infuriating their constituents with this dishonest money grab, then disregarding that righteous anger.”-Chicago Tribune editorial board

A hefty beverage tax passed by Cook County Commissioners to fill a budget gap barely survived two months due to significant opposition from working people, families and small local businesses. While in place, the tax caused prices to skyrocket on more than 1,000 everyday beverages. The prices sent people to stores across county lines. As a result, beverage sales in Cook County decreased to nearly 50 percent at some retailers and restaurants.

Faced with the uprising of their constituents, Cook County Commissioners voted to reverse course and get rid of the tax. “I’ve never heard so much animosity to a tax than this…People were telling me they’d go to Indiana to buy soda, and they weren’t just buying their sodas there, but all their other groceries, too.” – Commissioner John Daley.

Cook County shows how unpopular these taxes are and what citizens can do about them when they set their minds to it.

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