In Cook County, Ill., commissioners have decided to propose a tax on more than 1,000 products in the grocery store, including teas, juices, soda – even low- and no-calorie beverages – in an attempt to fill a budget deficit. But residents and local businesses in Cook County are speaking out against this harmful tax.

Jamie Di Paulo, executive director of Little Village Chamber of Commerce penned a letter to the editor in Crain’s expressing his concern over the proposed penny-per-ounce tax stating - “I wanted to reiterate the negative impact that this tax will have on businesses in Cook County.”

Mr. Di Paulo continued saying, “Many of my members are shop owners who create thousands of jobs for residents. A beverage tax may cost many of the businesses in my community to shut down or let go of their employees—hurting their families.”

We saw a similar situation play out in Mexico, with 30,000 mom-and-pop shops closing their doors in part due to the peso-per-ounce tax that was implemented in 2014.

Instead of pushing for a tax that will raise prices on hardworking families and threaten jobs, commissioners should find a way to solve the deficit that won’t make it harder for local business owners to keep their doors open.

To find out more about how taxes are regressive and harm local businesses, visit The Truth About Beverage Taxes.