Soda’s pretty terrible for you. But let’s not be insane about things.
Do soda taxes make healthier citizens or healthier budgets?
In a desperate attempt to save Cook County, Illinois’ wildly unpopular one cent per ounce soda tax—on the verge of being repealed by a vote on Wednesday—proponents are trying to make the beverage levy seem like a win for both.
“I’m standing with the children who’re growing up in a world where sickening, sugary drinks are relentlessly promoted to them,” Elissa Bassler, CEO of Illinois Public Health Institute and a tax proponent, told county commissioners. “The county clearly needs this revenue to serve the people I was just talking about.”
Increasingly few Cook County residents are buying the double-speak. Eight commissioners voted to enact the soda tax in November 2016. Now twelve of 17 are saying that they will vote to repeal it.
One defector, Commissioner John P. Daley said that his constituents were fed up with taxes, telling the Chicago Sun-Times that “they are being taxed out of the state, out of the county. The public is saying, ‘There are too many taxes and I’m tired of it.'”