Craft Soda Maker Flattened By Sweetened-Beverage Tax

(CBS) — The owner of a small craft-soda company in the Chicago area says the county’s new tax on sweetened beverages is costing jobs already.

The story from WBBM’s Regine Schlesinger.

“It’s put the brakes on our business, big-time,” says Bill Daker, president of Cool Mountain Beverages in Des Plaines, which makes several flavors of soda pop.

He tells the WBBM Noon Business Hour that after about two weeks since the county began collecting the tax, his company is already feeling the effects at the retail level.

“As we go out and try to expand our business at retail level, they’re saying, ‘Wait a second, we have to really figure out what this means to our business,’” Daker says.

The company has already laid off one driver because of the tax, which Daker considers unfair to the beverage industry.

Cook County this summer began imposing a penny-an-ounce tax on sweetened beverages and some water products as a way to balance the budget.

Organized attempts to legally challenge the tax have not been successful beyond delaying its initial rollout.

 

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