A penny-per-ounce beverage tax takes effect today in Cook County, home to Chicago, and a Dispatch-Argus editorial is warning residents and businesses of the negative effects it could have on the county and on the entire state.
Tanya Triche Dawood, general counsel and vice president of the merchants group is calling this "an invitation for residents in this county to leave the county and shop elsewhere, which puts retailers at risk and, frankly, puts the county's budget at risk." As we've seen in Philadelphia, shoppers will travel to avoid the tax, especially those living close to the county lines.
The editorial also says beverage taxes have been ineffective when it comes to improving public health, pointing out that, "there is little significant scientific data to show that high taxes on soda make communities measurably healthier."
States and municipalities should not fill budget gaps on the backs on small businesses and consumers. Taxes are simply empty promises and have real consequences on businesses and families.