Layoffs ‘Inevitable’ If Soda Tax Isn’t Reinstated

CHICAGO (CBS) — The head of the Cook County Board says layoff notices could go out as soon as next week, as County Government fights a lawsuit over a proposed tax on soft drinks and other sugary beverages.

County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says she expects a long legal fight over the sweetened beverage tax, which was supposed to take effect this month.

And while the courts keep the tax on hold, the county is not getting the expected $200 million in revenue it had planned — making roughly 1,100 layouts nearly inevitable.

“87 percent of our budget is public health and public safety. So if we don’t have revenue, we end up laying off doctors and nurses, prosecutors and public defenders and jail guards, because that’s where our money goes.”

The county is still in court over a proposed tax on ammunition, which was supposed to take effect last year.

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