STUMP » Articles » Sunday Silliness: Cook County Soda Tax Keeps Limping Along » 3 September 2017, 16:50

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Sunday Silliness: Cook County Soda Tax Keeps Limping Along  


3 September 2017, 16:50

I was thinking of writing about Kentucky, the Illinois school funding bill, 80% funding hall of shame, or even flood insurance.

But the serious stuff can wait til later. Other serious stuff I’m dealing with.

Going to that sweet, sweet blogging candy: the Cook County Soda Tax. It hits my sweet spot.

Um, yeah, I’ll drop that extended metaphor.


By which, I mean, save them from their poor decisions.

Proposed legislation to nix Cook County soda tax could conflict with Illinois home rule principle

SPRINGFIELD — While polling data indicates Cook County’s new so-called “pop tax” is largely unpopular, two proposals filed in the Illinois General Assembly to flush the tax could infringe on the principle of home rule.

“Clearly the [proposed] law is not consistent with the principle of home rule or local control, but I am not sure if it is an unconstitutional infringement,” said Rebecca Hendrick, an associate professor in the Department of Public Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Home rule is the power of a county, city or other form of local government, to exercise self-governing powers within its boundaries.

Two similar bills before the Illinois State House, HB 4082 and HB 4083, would allow the state to dictate whether counties may impose a sweetened beverage tax. Both bills aim to get rid of Cook County’s already implemented and controversial sweetened beverage tax.

HB 4082 would prevent home rule counties from imposing a tax on sweetened beverages based on volume sold, while HB 4083 would include non-home rule counties and would nullify Cook County’s sweetened beverage tax, which was passed by the Cook County Board of Commissioners in November.

Hendrick said she is not a legal expert on state law, local government rights or the Illinois General Assembly and declined to comment on the likelihood of legislation passing.

“I do, however, think this bill [H.B. 4083] sets a bad precedent for states to pass laws with such specificity about whether counties can tax certain items in order to deal with an event in only one county,” she said. “What happens if a county downstate decides to tax something else that some disagree with, or if Chicago decides they want to tax sweetened beverages?”

Perhaps the state shouldn’t be sending these various counties any funding at all, eh? That would be very home rule-y.

Ok, it’s just one person talking about a principle. But come on. It’s Illinois. This ain’t about principles. It’s about money.


Bloomberg spends $3 million more on campaign to back soda pop tax as repeal showdown looms

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is spending $3 million more to air a new TV ad backing the controversial penny-an-ounce Cook County tax on sweetened beverages.

The $3 million is on top of $2 million Bloomberg already plowed into a different ad supporting the tax, which went into effect Aug. 1.

Meanwhile, the beverage industry continues an effort to push back. The Can the Tax coalition on Thursday took its campaign to Hazel Crest in the south suburbs, where retailers said the tax is harming their businesses. That’s in the district of Commissioner Deborah Sims, who voted for the tax.

Last week, the coalition was in Chicago’s Little Village, where the group joined retailers and the local Chamber of Commerce to advocate for repeal of the tax. That event was in the heart of the district represented by Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who voted for the tax.

A showdown of sorts is set for Sept. 13, when a vote on repealing the tax is expected to take place at a County Board meeting. But passing a repeal and getting it to stick is a tall order.

The County board is unlikely to say “oh yeah, we’re idiots.”

That’s true of any group – unless you have turnover of the members of the group, and then you can point and blame the previous guys.

Speaking of….


The above apohrism is one we have endlessly repeated to our children. I would say that’s our number one lesson we have drilled into the kids’ consciousness.

Politicians may take longer than children to learn this.

Chicago-area soda tax may carry political price for backers

CHICAGO (AP) — When a local government leader passed the deciding vote on a penny-per-ounce soda tax, she said it would generate enough money to balance the county budget while making people in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs healthier.

But so far, the tax seems mostly to have created problems for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who until recently was so popular many considered her the only possible candidate who could unseat Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Opponents have filed lawsuits, a federal agency warned Illinois could lose millions in funding for food stamp benefits and store owners have complained of plummeting sales. There are signs angry residents could hold it against Preckwinkle and other pro-tax commissioners seeking re-election next year.

I don’t feel sorry for the County Board members at all. I could blame the poor quality of history teaching, but even solid history teaching for children will not emphasize how often taxes and public finance have caused the toppling of a power bloc.

But if you’ve decided your career is going to be a politician, it’s up to you to make sure you’ve got the info you need. It’s true in any industry — I tell my students not to sit around waiting for your boss to tell you what you need to learn. You need to figure it out on your own – by the time you’re an adult, you’re responsible for directing your own education.



Yeah, I don’t think they thought it was going to be brave before they made the vote. I bet they thought “Who could be against taxing evil Big Soda?”


Why not show the level of my obsession. Such as it is. It’s mainly that I’m mining twitter search, I will admit. This takes a lot less work than my pensions news feeds, really.

This is pretty much the same thing over and over… and yet I cannot get enough.

Just like Coke. Or Pringles.

Also… I may end up with a new blog topic…

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