Area tax on sugary drinks on way out after vote

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Cook County, which includes Chicago, narrowly approved the tax in November 2016, making the county the most populous area in the United States to collect a special tax on soda, sports drinks and energy drinks. Gainer is one of 15 commissioner who voted to repeal the oppressive Preckwinkle soda tax. If the item passes at today's committee meeting, commissioners would take a second vote to accept the finance committee report at Wednesday's regular county board meeting.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle championed the tax as a health issue and a vehicle for shoring up the county's sagging budget.

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In noting that there are enough votes to repeal the tax, he is co-sponsoring legislation "that will mitigate the effect of an immediate repeal on vital county services and allow for a more orderly transition". And I am thankful for the talented professionals at the Cook County Health and Hospitals System who are committed to promoting better health outcomes for residents across the County, especially in our vulnerable communities.

Unlike other cities and counties that have passed soda taxes in recent years, Cook County was arguably cursed from the start. "Commissioners were listening and common sense has prevailed". "We look forward to tomorrow's vote by the Cook County Board". As I outlined last week, it is up to the commissioners to choose our direction on revenue, and I respect their authority to do so. The tax was greeted with 87% disapproval from the public.

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Cook County commissioner John Fritchey, a Democrat from Chicago, suggested taxing legalized recreational marijuana as an alternative revenue source in lieu of a soda tax, and is introducing a county board resolution to do so.

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