CHICAGO (CBS) — A group of House Republican lawmakers are backing a bill repealing Cook County’s new soda pop tax, which went into effect earlier this month.
While Cook County has the power to levy its own taxes, Chicago Republican state rep. Michael McAuliffe says the penny-an-ounce sweetened beverage tax goes too far. “This tax is unfair and constituents in my area are sick and tired of paying more and more taxes.”
Therefore, McAuliffe is sponsoring a bill to repeal the tax. The legislation would prohibit any home rule county, such as Cook, from taxing sweetened beverages based on volume sold.
Naperville rep. Grant Wehrli says commuters from his area even get hit with it when they work in Chicago. He said the tax was sold under the auspice of helping health, and is “simply a cash grab.”
In fact, Toni Preckwinkle, County Board President, has always said Cook County needs the tax revenue. In a statement, Preckwinkle’s spokesperson labeled the legislation a ploy for media attention from lawmakers unwilling to make the tough choices necessary to govern. Additionally, he said the county will continue to do the hark work required to protect health care and public safety for all residents.
The American Heart Association has backed the tax, and continues to do so, adding that the latest effort seeks to cause confusion and chaos for residents.