Some Cook County politicians have tried to curb the backlash against the tax they imposed on beverages by claiming it is intended to improve health, but their hollow words aren’t fooling outraged Cook County residents who know the tax is really about filling a budget gap.
In a recent editorial the Chicago Tribune says Cook County Commission President Toni Preckwinkle and commissioners who voted in favor of the tax underestimated their voters.
Now as people are fleeing the city to avoid the tax and purchase their beverages and grocery items, some commissioners are pointing the finger at beverage companies as to why they have faced so much backlash over the tax.
The editorial board says not so fast. The commissioners “can blame themselves for infuriating their constituents with this dishonest money grab, then disregarding that righteous anger,” wrote the editorial board.
Even before the tax, residents of Cook County were already facing high taxes. Some on the commission thought they could fix their budget problems by adding this tax on beverages, but residents are saying enough is enough.
It’s time for Cook County to repeal the beverage tax and for the commissioners to, according to the editorial board, “Either cut the budget or come up with a fair and honest tax — and justify it to your constituents.”