(CBS) — It wasn’t quite the Boston Tea Party but one of the largest crowds ever packed the Cook County board in protest of a proposed penny-an-ounce tax on sugary drinks.

One by one, opponents approached the lectern, united in anger over the proposed tax on soft drinks and some fruit juices.

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Soured consumers say the county board will see a backlash from every day people if the tax is approved.


The tax would add 72 cents to a six-pack of soda and 68 cents to a 2-liter bottle.

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County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says the county needs new revenue to fill a growing budget deficit, stave off hundreds of layoffs in public safety and prevent the further erosion of health and safety services provided by the county.

The tax would generate $74 million.

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The Rev. Walter Turner says if you don’t want to pay the tax, don’t drink pop. He says he’s glad he’s cut it out of his life.