On Dec. 1 the short-lived Cook County beverage tax faded into history after the Cook County Board of Commissioners repealed the tax just two months after it took effect. But according to The News-Gazette's editorial board, a newspaper in Champaign, Ill., "The soda tax is dead, but the controversy over it is not."
The dramatic reversal of the Cook County Board of Commissioners came after a massive public outcry against the tax. In fact, nearly 90 percent of Cook County residents opposed the tax.
The editorial board says the tax may be gone, but politicians who favored the tax could still pay a heavy price for supporting the tax. "Politics is an unforgiving business, and what happened in Cook County sends an unmistakable message to other politicians in Illinois - and far beyond - that stunts like the soda tax, also known as the sugar tax, are dangerous to embrace," wrote the editorial board.
With the unprecedented public backlash unleashed by the tax, politicians had no choice but to listen to their constituents. According to the editorial board, "The only surprise about its repeal is that it took so long for county officials to recognize their huge mistake, weeks instead of days. Few controversies in politics are so clear."