Since the penny-per-ounce tax was implemented last month many Cook County businesses are losing revenue from people who are doing their shopping outside county borders to avoid the tax.

With the soaring unpopularity of the tax, proponents are claiming the tax was intended as a health measure even though the county faces a massive budget deficit. But Cook County residents are not failing for this ploy. A new poll from the Illinois Manufacturers Association found that 87.5 percent of the respondents believed the commissioners voted to support the tax for “other reasons” other than health concerns, reports the Chicago Sun Times. Eighty-five percent of the respondents also wanted the tax repealed “no matter what the reason.”

There are better ways to fix a budget gap than gouging the pocketbooks of hardworking families and small businesses. Cook County residents are already feeling the strain and deserve better from their lawmakers.