STUMP » Articles » Cook County Soda Tax: My Relief (and announcement) » 23 August 2017, 12:15

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Cook County Soda Tax: My Relief (and announcement)  


23 August 2017, 12:15

Before I begin, I know many of you may have seen this via twitter or facebook, but Stu (my husband & the begin of STUmp…he’s the one who came up with the name) has cancer. My blogging, such as it is, may be more erratic than in the past, and more likely link dumps and animated gifs.

Or only animated gifs.

You get joy where you can.

There are a few more details here.


This Cook County soda tax is such a relief to me. The other day, after finishing a piece on Winston Churchill’s Painting as a Pastime, I pondered on the Churchillian pronouncement:

To be really happy and really safe, one ought to have at least two or three hobbies, and they must all be real.

Now, blogging on the Cook County soda tax doesn’t really make me safe, and I don’t think Sir Winston would call it “real”, but dang if it isn’t providing me with mirth.

I have enough screw-ups in New York and Connecticut politics in my daily life, and I don’t find Illinois pensions funny at all, but I can do nothing but laugh at this dumbass tax. It’s the best thing ever!



Amid soda tax war, Teamsters thank Preckwinkle for a good new deal

As Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle defends her controversial soda-pop tax as a vital prop for key county programs, one of the county’s top unions is bragging about all the good things Preckwinkle is giving its members in a new contract.

In a memo to members, Teamsters Union Local 700, which represents 3,500 guards and other security personnel at the county jail and some staffers in the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s office, specifically thanks Preckwinkle for items including a new payment for attending roll call, lifting a cap on use of personal time, a raised uniform allowance and expanded shift differentials, a $1,200-per-person signing bonus and, most notably, a zero percent hike in health care premiums at a time when workers all over the country are being asked to pay more.

Pretty sweet deal. (Make sure Preckwinkle doesn’t try to slap a tax on it!)

However, it’s worth noting that Teamsters Local 700 endorsed passage of the penny-an-ounce tax on sweetened beverages, saying at the time that it would “guarantee job security for hundreds of people that work for Cook County.” The levy passed with Preckwinkle casting a tie-breaking vote.

It’s also pertinent that Local 700 has been one of Preckwinkle’s main campaign donors in recent years, with the Local and an affiliated Teamsters group using the same Park Ridge address giving her campaign fund at least $68,000 since 2014.

In the memo, Robinson is trying to build support for ratification and perhaps exaggerates a bit if only to look good.

The proposed pact includes some things taxpayers may like, with wages frozen the first year and then rising 2 percent across-the-the-board in each in the second and third years. “Step,” or experience-based raises, also would be frozen for two years, but then be fully implemented.

It’s always smart to have good friends.


Cook County Soda Tax Circling Drain in Illinois

Cook County’s controversial sweetened beverage tax continues to draw fire, now in a new forum: the state Legislature.

A block of Democrats in the Illinois House introduced legislation repealing the Cook County Beverage Tax by barring home rule counties from imposing sales taxes on the purchase of sweetened beverages based upon weight or volume. By Aug. 18, the measure ( H.B. 4083) had already attracted 29 cosponsors.

“This tax greatly increases the cost of groceries and adds yet another tax burden to local families,” Rep. Marty Moylan (D) said in a statement. “Even more concerning is that this tax will hurt local businesses and jeopardize jobs in our community by pushing residents to shop outside of Cook County.”
Case Dismissed

In another development, a lawsuit challenging McDonald’s Corp.’s administration of the soda tax has been withdrawn ( Wojtecki v. McDonald’s Corp. , Ill. Cir. Ct., No. 2017 L 8008, dismissed 8/15/17 ).

A class action, filed Aug. 8 in Cook County Circuity Court, alleged double taxation by McDonald’s and several franchise operations. The lawsuit alleged the defendants calculate sales tax by first applying the sweetened beverage tax to a purchased product and then imposing the various state and local sales taxes.

But Judge Thomas R. Mulroy Jr. issued an order Aug. 15 dismissing the case with prejudice. The dismissal came after attorneys representing the consumers conceded the sales tax wasn’t applied on top of the beverage tax.
The McDonald’s case is just one of several filed following the implementation of the soda tax. Class actions alleging over taxation have been filed in Cook County Circuit Court against Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., 7-Eleven Inc., Circle K Stores, and Albertsons Companies Inc.

In addition, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association has filed an action challenging the constitutionality of the the tax ordinance. IRMA lost at the circuit court level and filed a notice of appeal in the case Aug. 1.

Some Cook County residents crossing borders to avoid paying soda tax

Some residents of Cook County’s south suburbs are buying sweetened beverages at stores in Will County to avoid paying Cook’s penny-an-ounce soda tax.

I talked with shoppers Tuesday morning outside Target at 7300 W. 191st St. in the Will County portion of Tinley Park.

“I don’t mind paying taxes,” said Bill Watson, 72, of Oak Forest. “I don’t like getting cheated.”

People are definitely unhappy about the soda tax. Those who can are going out of their way to avoid paying it.

It was easy to spot customers who were shopping in Will County to avoid Cook County taxes. For one thing, they all looked like smart people, with bright eyes and a purposeful spring in their steps.

Okay, smartass.

Then there was the telltale clue that they exited the store with carts containing nothing but sweetened beverages.

I approached Watson because his cart contained six 12-packs of 16-ounce bottles of Lipton iced tea. I asked how much he saved by avoiding the Cook County tax. He pulled out his phone and used the calculator to do the math.

If he bought the same items in Cook County, he would have paid an additional $11.52 in tax, he said.

Okay, that’s better.

No need to be so snide.

Leave that to the bloggers! (Okay, he’s a columnist, whatever, but still.)

Philadelphia’s soda tax isn’t the windfall some had hoped for

Philadelphia introduced a tax on sugary drinks Jan. 1.

The tax has generated revenue of $39.3 million, or about 15 percent shy of the original projection of $46 million.

Sales of carbonated soft drinks, the largest sweetened beverage category, fell 55 percent inside the city, according to a study from Catalina. Just outside it, sales rose 38 percent.



My twitter is filled with nothing but love….



Sorry, textpattern (the software I use, which is obsolete, but which I prefer) keeps chewing up my post, so I’m stopping here. I will grab other tweets later.

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