Soda Tax Repeal In The Works

(CBS) – A Cook County commissioner is trying to repeal the controversial new penny-an-ounce tax on sweetened beverages.

Republican Sean Morrison, who represents the 17th District, hopes to turn a successful tactic once used by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle against her.

Morrison’s tactic is to drum up opposition the way Preckwinkle did to repeal her predecessor Todd Stroger’s 1-cent county sales tax.

There has been pushback from retailers since a court cleared the controversial soda tax last week.

“A lot of the commissioners we feel may be in a different position on how they’re going to look at this tax, especially now that we’ve seen it enacted,” Morrison tells CBS 2 Political Reporter Derrick Blakley. “There has just been a public outcry.”

Back when she proposed the tax, Preckwinkle said it was designed to combat diabetes among the poor.

On Wednesday, a statement from her office indicated it was all about money:

“We’ll strongly oppose any effort to repeal the tax. The choice is between maintaining a balanced budget with revenue from the tax or, if it is repealed, drastic cuts in public health and public safety.”

Morrison says he expects to present his soda tax repeal measure for a vote on Sept. 13.

Preckwinkle tells CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov she doesn’t think Morrison has the votes necessary to approve a repeal, nor has he suggested alternatives to replace the revenue that would be lost.

 

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