Chicago’s soda tax is repealed

IT MUST have been one of the shortest-lived taxes in the history of Illinois. On October 11th lawmakers of Cook County, which includes Chicago, overwhelmingly voted to repeal the county’s soda tax. It had come into effect on August 2nd, after a delay thanks to a lawsuit by the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, and will cease to exist on December 1st. From the very start the one-cent-per-ounce levy on sweetened soft drinks was massively unpopular: policymakers claimed it was introduced to protect public health but its main purpose was to plug a $1.8bn hole in the budget.

The repeal is a big victory for the vigorous lobbies of makers of fizzy drinks. It is a setback for Toni Preckwinkle, the president of Cook County Board, and Mike Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, who, as mayor, unsuccessfully tried to introduce the tax in America’s biggest city, and then poured millions of dollars into the campaign for its introduction in the third-largest city. William Dermody of the American Beverage Association, a lobby…

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Source:: The Economits – United States

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