Alderman Calls For Higher Tax On Soft Drinks

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago alderman behind the city’s 5-cent tax on bottled water is now setting his sights on soda drinkers.

As WBBM Newsrasdio’s Mike Krauser reports, Ald. George Cardenas (12th) is backing off his idea for a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks, such as pop and energy drinks. But he still wants to see a tax that is high enough to discourage people from buying them, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

Cardenas has put out a call for hearings on the effects of sugary beverages on obesity and the implications of imposing higher city sales tax on them, the Sun-Times reported.

The notice for hearings says a tax on soft drinks could reduce obesity and its associated health costs, and could also generate much-needed revenue, the newspaper reported.

He intends to take testimony from medical experts, and then get a proposal for a sales tax hike together by the spring, the Sun-Times reported.

Cardenas’ proposal for a bottled water tax went into effect on Jan. 1, 2008.

The alderman had called for a tax of up to 25 cents on the cost of every bottle of water to help close a $217 million budget gap. The Columbia Chronicle reported that the tax brought in revenue just between January and April 2008.

In August 2007, when Cardenas first proposed the bottled water tax, one Chicagoan told CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman he liked the idea of taxing soft drinks better.

“So raise the taxes on pop. Why would you want to raise it on something that’s healthy?” Dennis Hopkins said in 2007. “You can give a newborn baby bottled water. It’s good for you.”

  • Afro

    At least Al Capone had balls enough to send his men to go door to door to shake people down!

    • Afro

      Just thought this needs to be out in the open HERE IS WHERE THE TAXES GO.

      Posted by Jon McClellan (Diary)

      Thursday, February 9th at 11:30AM EST
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    • broadcaster

      It’s obvious that the Aldermen have just GIVEN UP.

      They are enjoying their under-the-table drug money that buys their silence.

  • Me

    Go away food nazis….

    This won’t do anything to stop people drinking Soda and Energy drinks. How will they tax restaurants? I order a medium (22oz) drink and refill it 4 times…need I pay $0.25 per refill?

    • Skinny Minny

      I know several obese people, one a co-worker and the other a downstairs neighbor. They NEVER drink pop.

      How about taxing crime? Tax the thugs who rape children who are walking home from school; tax the thugs who rob banks; tax the carjackers; tax the drug dealers & their customers! UNTAPPED REVENUE. Oh but that’s too challenging. How about doing SOMETHING against crime?

      These spineless, soft, cowardly money-grabs suck and they know it. Pop is a criminal now. So are Dish Network dishes. Those are deemed the “REAL” criminals.

  • Milo

    In these difficult times, with all the troubles we face, THIS Is what our elected officials want to focus on. Throw this moron out of office and find someone who works FOR the people,not to see his name in print.

  • Scott

    So I just step across the street into the suburb next to me and buy it there. I just wish these so called leaders can worry about what’s really important like jobs, education and crime, not what my family and I decide to eat or drink.

    • Roberta Waker

      Amen, Scott. There are more important issues than tax, tax, taxing people to death. If these alderman have nothing better to do than lay awake at night trying to find a new way to tax people; they don’t have enough to do and their districts should be consolidated or eliminated. It’s cheaper to go to Indiana or Wisconsin and buy in bulk once a month anyway so Illinois AND Chicago had better wake up.

  • the rapture

    great way to drive more people to shop in the ‘burbs – go ahead – do it – you are not an alderman – you are now acting like an overbearing mother figure…

  • PG

    Why is it that every time an alderperson or the mayor opens their mouth, it is so that they can announce a new tax/fee/way to get more money from the people? Do they lay in bed at night, trying to think of new ways to get more money from taxpayers? How much is enough for these people?!?

  • Milo

    Maybe next he can tax businesses that offer one ply toilet paper in their restrooms because it takes more paper to get the job done.

  • Anne

    The lesson of thin people revealed that a specialized diabetes diet reverses weight in people with or without diabetes See here on Midland News

  • Judy

    Why don’t the Alderman worry about what’s going on in the neighborhoods, then worry about taxing soda?????? It’s like any thing else you eat or drink. If you do not want it don’t buy it. But stop all this BS with taxing SH@@.
    You all need to look at yourselves first!!!! What are you drinking or eating that’s making you look so obese????

    • Roberta Waker

      Right on, Judy. Maybe it’s not only the soda they’re drinking, maybe it’s the sugar in their 20 cups a day coffee habit making them fat.

  • Wolf

    How about restructuring and reforming the bloated public sector operations instead of more taxation on the backs of the taxpayers…

  • illinois voter

    To all you free loads aldermen.think before you want to tax voter might start a petitions to abolish you all or cut down to half of the aldermanic wards.all you aldermen are getting paid with high salaries.guess who are paying all your the people of city of chicago.why not not consider cutting your salaries,instead raising tax on anything.some people out there barely make it.all of those aldermen that are for raising taxes. Beware,us voter will make sure to vote you out to the next election term.constitution stated”BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE.we are the people.we also have power to vote you all out.

  • tom sharp

    “Increase the tax on…” is almost always the first thing out of these crooks’ mouths–TERM LIMITS OF ONE!!!

  • paycheck2payckeck

    In Chicago there is a 12% soft drink Tax Now, look at your receipt at the grocery store, of course how many Alderman do there own grocery shopping..

  • tradefin

    Shop in the Burbs. save the tax gas , food, beer, coke. We started a community on our block when we switch off driving. Saves us a ton

  • Bob Haaga

    Butt heads plain and simple. I waiting for when they tax our feet. you can buy anything in Chicago for a few votes. I wish they would go after the gangs as much.

  • Bob Haaga

    They really don’t want people in Chicago do they

  • jjack

    Buy your pope in the suburs

  • Jackie

    The Alderman has already suggested a tax on soda, suggesting it causes obesity and now he wants to back track and get testimony from health experts.I would think that he would get the testimony first He is full of something and it’s not water and pop.
    I will buy my soft drinks and water in the suburbs. People continue to lose their jobs and taxes and fines continue to rise. Something has got to give. Why not tax stupidity and greed.

    • rahm a dumb dumb

      Jackie, wonderful idea to tax stupidity and greed! If that were son, the city would have a surplus from the taxes the moronic mayor and his yes-men-and-women underlings.

  • Jackie

    I suppose the tax will not include diet soda??

  • Scott

    Now I know why we are the most corrupt state in this country. It’s alderpersons like this that are really trying to make the City of Chicago a better place Forget about crime, education or that the economy is in the tank. A new pop/sugar tax will help my ward. I would be embarrassed if this was my alderman and this is what he really thinks is important.

  • Untold Truth

    It is time for the people of Cook County to fight back, pay no property taxes and shop outside of Cook County, plan you budget put your tax money in an escrow account, plan you shopping so one or two trips per month will keep you stocked up.
    For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction

  • Chase

    This tax is a great idea. This alderman really cares about the health and well being of people making sure they don’t get fat and develop diseases like diabetes. Its never about the money that goes into his pocket, oh no. It’s about saving the people man. Because obviously we cannot save ourselves…………by drinking pop in moderation.

  • Just the Average Joe

    The city is faced with bills it can’t pay, and promises it can’t keep, they are trying to find any opening to increase taxes. The handwriting has been on the wall for everybody to read, selling the toll bridge, the parking meters, and numerous other things while staying with the high cost pensions, health care, and other government programs that are sucking up the money. This is only going to get worst as these people can not cut back on spending and find it more difficult to raise revenue. They hope and pray for a GM plan from Obama, but that has to pass through Congress.

  • Mr. Justice

    The citizens of Chicago deserve these taxes and even more taxes. Why, you may ask? Because the citizens continue to elect idiots like this Alderman and others like him. You want to cut out the higher taxes,then make cuts, elect new officials who aren’t sucking on the “nanny state nipple”. Come on people, throw all of these bums out.

    • Skorpius

      I didn’t vote for any of these fools, so don’t tell ME what I deserve.

  • Lyndia

    What is everybody crying about? You voted for these people so do not cry now. You are getting exactly what you deserve! There is more to come too and it is not going to be nice. Tax on water, tax on paper,now tax on soft drinks are proposed. Damn, don’t you ever get tired of taxing people?

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