STUMP » Articles » Soda Tax: Here He Comes to Save the Day! » 5 October 2017, 03:24

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Soda Tax: Here He Comes to Save the Day!  

by

5 October 2017, 03:24

Well, we already knew Bloomberg was shelling out loads of money to support the Cook County Soda Tax.

But now we have an Eric Allie cartoon for it.

But here’s something amusing to me:

PLEASE, PRECKWINKLE, DON’T CUT SPENDING! NOT THAT!

This has got to be the most amusing threat from a politician ever.

Preckwinkle threatens 11 percent budget cut

Before I get to the text – who exactly is going to be threatened by this other than those who work for the county? I’m sure all the government folks are on board with the soda tax (except to the extent it threatens their keeping office).

The people who hate the tax will be saying: well, why didn’t you just cut 11% to begin with? We want you to spend less!

So here’s the text:

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is going on offense as a vote nears on whether to repeal her highly unpopular tax on sweetened beverages, saying doing so could force an 11 percent across-the-board cut in county spending.

In a fiscal note sent to commissioners just before the weekend, Ammar Rizki, the county’s acting chief financial officer, said losing the tax would reduce county income slightly over $200 million in fiscal 2018 without a new revenue source, resulting in “an approximate 11 percent reduction to each of those departments and offices from their base FY2017 appropriated expenditures.”

The leader of the campaign to repeal the penny-an-ounce tax said he won’t be put off by “scare tactics.”

“President Preckwinkle has failed to do the hard work to reform” county government, said West Side Commissioner Richard Boykin, who had been considering running against Preckwinkle in next year’s election but last week said he instead would seek a new term. If she had done what she should, only “a small hole” would exist that could be filled from other sources, Boykin said.

Preckwinkle’s spokesman rejected that.

Rizki’s note came just days before Preckwinkle is due to unveil her fiscal 2018 budget on Oct. 5 and barely a week before the board’s Finance Committee is scheduled to vote Oct. 10 on repealing the tax.

Oh, I look forward to that budget. I can just imagine the sugar-fattened budget using projections of the soda tax that won’t materialize, even if it’s kept in place.

Instead of threatening, Boykin said, Preckwinkle should be taking steps such as reclaiming funds for budgeted but unfilled jobs throughout county government, “holding the line on wage increases” for both union and administrative workers, and selling some of the county’s receivable for debt in the health system. Boykin suggested the latter would enable the county to net $20 million to $30 million on $90 million of overdue bills it might never collect itself.

Preckwinkle spokesman Frank Shuftan said that if Boykin “has any ideas that make sense and are rooted in real math,” he ought to put them forward.

Sounds like he just did put something forward.

“Since her election in 2010, President Preckwinkle has closed $1.8 billion in budget gaps, cut $657 million in expenditures, reduced the workforce by 10 percent and reduced bonded indebtedness by 11 percent,” Shuftan said. “Commissioner Boykin, like all commissioners, gets regular budget briefings throughout the year. He voted in favor of the current budget and in favor of the current collective-bargaining agreements.”

The vote on repeal is very close. Insiders say the measure, which passed 8-8, with Preckwinkle breaking the tie, now has the nine votes needed to pass but perhaps not the 11 votes believed needed for a veto override.

Well, we shall see.

PRECKWINKLE: FINE, YES, IT’S ABOUT THE MONEY AND NOT HEALTH

I mean, it’s obvious from the piece above.

But let’s see what the Sun-Times has to say:

Preckwinkle: Soda tax was all about money, and the county needs it

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Wednesday refused to forecast the outcome of a vote next week that would roll back the a controversial “soda tax,” or whether she would veto a repeal if one passes.

But a day ahead of making her budget address to a Board of Commissioners said to be lined up for a close vote on pulling back the county’s penny-per-ounce tax on sodas and sweetened beverages, Preckwinkle was not shy about saying what would happen without the estimated $200 million in tax revenue projected to come from the tax.

“(We will) make significant cuts to public health and public safety, because that’s where 87 percent of our money goes,” Preckwinkle told reporters, following an unrelated press conference on criminal justice reform.

Preckwinkle will release her budget at 10 a.m. Thursday, an hour before her formal budget address. The county board could vote on repealing the tax on Tuesday.

Yeah, whatever, Preckwinkle. Throw your hissy fit.

The soda tax is just spitting into the wind that is Cook County pension issues.

Yes, I know that 60% funded ratio may look pretty sweet compared to .. well, all the other Illinois pensions other than IMRF.

But it’s not in a great place.

ADDITIONAL: John Ruberry at Da Tech Guy blog Crook County, Illinois soda tax is fueling “free” health care, pensions

TWEET TWEET MY SWEET SODA TAX













I think that M.C. RUDE guy has strong feelings about the soda tax. What do you think?












ALL THE SODA TAX POSTS

Not including this one, that is.

I will be here as long as the soda tax is. WOO.


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