Last November the county commissioners of Cook County, Ill., passed a penny-per-ounce tax on beverages like teas, juice drinks, sports drinks and flavored water. The new tax has been put on hold by the court, but if it goes into effect it will be the third tax applied to sugar-sweetened beverages in Chicago making a $4.00 12-pack of soda in the city cost $5.97. As a result, some Cook County residents told the Northwest Indiana Times that they will be going across county lines to purchase their beverages.
“We're being overtaxed. It’s just sad,” Melaneice Sercye of Lansing said. She also said she plans to avoid the tax by shopping in Indiana.
"I'll go there in a minute for groceries," Sercye said. "I already go there for gas. I go to church (in Munster)."
We’ve already seen this happen in Philadelphia where residents are traveling outside the city to escape a beverage tax there. Just like in Philadelphia, local businesses in Cook County will be hit multiple times by the beverage tax – first by the drop of beverage sales, then from the loss of grocery sales and again from increased administrative costs due to the complexity of the tax.
"This is an unfair, far-reaching tax that exists solely to raise revenue on the backs of Cook County working families. It has been a nightmare for retailers and restaurants trying to comply," said David Goldenberg, spokesman with the Can the Tax Coalition.
Cook County families and businesses deserve better from their elected officials than a burdensome tax that kills jobs and hurts locals businesses. To learn more about how beverage taxes harm communities and local businesses visit the Truth About Beverage Taxes.