In November, Cook County Commissioners passed a tax on beverages like soda, juice drinks, sports drinks and flavored water. The tax, introduced by Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, will be used to help fill the county’s budget deficit. Thousands of Cook County residents spoke out against the tax and the burden it would place on families and small businesses.
Michael Lucci, vice president of policy at the Illinois Policy Institute, spoke about the tax during a recent radio show - “Cook County is once again trying to fix a spending problem by raising new tax revenues.” Cook County has one of the highest sales tax in the nation and had hikes on property, sewer and utility taxes last year. The addition of the beverage tax will make it harder for families and small businesses to thrive in the county.
Lucci notes that this tax will “generate revenue, on the backs of the poor,” pointing to Gallup poll statistics showing that low-income families will be most impacted by the tax.
The radio show host, Dan Proft of Illinois Rising, points to another consequence – cross border shopping. "People will go to neighboring states to buy these goods that are overtaxed in Cook County,” he said.
Politicians may think raising the price of a common grocery item is an easy fix to a budget gap, but they should first consider the harm they cause to low-income families, small businesses, jobs and incomes. To learn more about the negative consequences of beverage taxes, visit The Truth About Beverage Taxes. To read more about the interview click here.