What drinks aren't included in Cook County's 'soda' tax?

Updated 6/28/2017 2:18 PM

Cook County's beverage tax is set to go into effect Saturday, adding a penny per ounce to nonalcoholic drinks that have sugar or artificial sweeteners. Here's how to sort out drinks that are taxed from those that are not:

Juice: Artificially flavored fruit and vegetable juices will be taxed, but not juices that are 100 percent natural.


Milk: Milk or drink products made with at least 50 percent milk -- or a soy, rice or similar milk substitute -- or with milk as the first listed ingredient are not taxed.

Coffee and tea: You can still get your morning cup at the drive-through without being taxed, even if you ask for packets of sugar. But bottled coffee and tea products with sweeteners are taxed.

Formula: Infants won't be hit with the tax.

Medical and nutritional: Drinks intended to provide therapeutic meal replacements, help with weight reduction or prevent childhood dehydration are exempt. That means drinks like Ensure or Pedialyte aren't taxed, while Gatorade is.

Supplements: Syrups and powders that sweeten water -- like Kool-Aid or Crystal Light -- aren't taxed.

Source: Cook County

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