Add about 10% to cost of pop: Cook County OKs soda tax

  • Cook County's sweetened-beverage tax of a penny per ounce will nearly double the cost of a two-liter bottle of soda.

    Cook County's sweetened-beverage tax of a penny per ounce will nearly double the cost of a two-liter bottle of soda. Jake Griffin | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 11/10/2016 6:01 PM

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.

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