The Cook County Board of Commissioners on Thursday narrowly passed a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on sweetened beverages, but only after Board President Toni Preckwinkle came in at the last minute to cast a tiebreaking vote, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Preckwinkle said the new tax is necessary to help avoid devastating layoffs and close a $174.3 million budget shortfall for next year.
The tax -- which the beverage industry strongly opposes -- will go into effect on July 1, 2017. It means the cost of a 99-cent can of soda would increase to $1.11; a 20-ounce bottle, from $2.19 to $2.39.
That tax covers carbonated soft drinks -- whether sweetened with sugar or a substitute such as aspartame -- sports drinks and energy drinks. Fruit drinks also will be taxed, but drinks with 100 percent fruit juice are exempt.
• This report was produced in partnership with the Chicago Sun-Times. For more, check chicago.suntimes.com.