Cook County families and small businesses are bracing for the impacts of a wide-ranging beverage tax set to take effect tomorrow despite heavy opposition from business owners and consumers. Martin Sandovol, general manager of La Chiquita Market in Chicago, told the local CBS affiliate he is anticipating sales losses of 20 to 30 percent.
Not only are businesses worried about the economic harm the tax will cause, it has been an administrative nightmare. “We have to double check at the register that we are charging the right price too,” said La Chiquita Market employee Jorge Rivera.
Unfortunately, Cook County officials did not learn from the mistakes of Philadelphia where a similar tax has sent shoppers fleeing the city to avoid the tax, caused steep sales declines and cost jobs. However, the people of Cook County have been paying attention: “We’re afraid of maybe losing our jobs,” Rivera said.