STUMP » Articles » Cook County Soda Tax: Juuuuust One More... Come On.... » 16 October 2017, 21:23

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Cook County Soda Tax: Juuuuust One More... Come On....  


16 October 2017, 21:23

Okay, I was just gonna drop the soda tax, just like Cook County did.

But then this happened:

Cubs’ Joe Maddon compares plate-blocking rule to recently-repealed Chicago soda tax

Joe Maddon and the Chicago Cubs did not have a great Saturday night in their 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series.

Starting pitcher Jose Quintana issued a pair of fifth-inning walks that turned into the game-tying runs. The Cubs were hitless in four at bats with runners in scoring position. And with the game tied 2-2 in the sixth, Maddon pushed several questionable buttons with his bullpen, as relievers Hector Rondon (inactive for the NLDS) and Mike Montgomery quickly carved out a three-run deficit.

But Maddon chose the occasion of that last run – scored when the Dodgers successfully challenged that catcher Willson Contreras did not offer Charlie Culberson a lane to home plate – to first get tossed out of the game and then rant about the rule in his postgame press conference.

Maddon went so far as to compare the rule – known colloquially as the Buster Posey Rule – to the Cook County soda tax, which was repealed by county lawmakers back in Illinois on Tuesday.

“He catches the ball, and his technique was absolutely 100% perfect,” Maddon said of Contreras’ athletic catch-and-tag on Culberson while his left foot forced Culberson around the plate. “I could not disagree more with the interpretation of that. However, I will defend the umpires. The umpires did everything according to what they’ve been told, but I, from day one, have totally disagreed with the content of that rule.

“I think it’s wrong. I think there’s anybody that’s played major league or even minor league baseball will agree with me 100% on that.

“That was a beautifully done major league play all the way around. That gets interpreted kind of like tantamount to the soda tax in Chicago, for me.”

The Posey Rule is here to stay. And at least until Sunday night’s Game 2, so, too, is the Cubs’ deficit in this NLCS, regardless of how many diversions Maddon may create.

I dunno. If a tax can be overturned in Cook County, if the Cubs can win the World Series, it seems to me that the Posey Rule could be overturned.

When questioned by a non-Chicagoland dweller about his analogy, Maddon replied: “My point is all rules that are created or laws aren’t necessarily good ones. That’s my point.”




The reason I said the soda tax posts would stop is because they’d just get replaced by Cook County/Chicago finance posts. I bet there will be additional bitching & moaning over the soda tax, but the thing is they have to:

- cut costs


- raise revenue

given that their little toy tax was taken away.


Because. That’s why.

Okay, I’ll give you one tweet:

I wonder if they’ll actually publish what the totals were, especially if it was a lot lower than Preckwinkle “promised”.


Soda Tax Repeal in Cook County Marks Major Win for Industry

The Cook County pop tax is headed for repeal after commissioners overwhelmingly signaled their intent to do away with it, marking a big win for soda companies and store owners after both sides spent millions of dollars to sway public opinion on the issue.

A 15-1 test vote on Tuesday makes Wednesday’s final consideration a mere formality. County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who pushed hard to keep the pop tax, conceded defeat, even as she challenged commissioners to come up with a way to make up the estimated $200 million hole about to be blown in the 2018 budget.

A part hole that would still be there once the costs came in over budget, and the revenue came in a lot less.

….Only Treasurer Maria Pappas said it was no problem to repeal the tax, adding that she was prepared to cut 12 percent from her budget without harming services. “I’m opposed to the soda pop tax,” she said.

Commissioner Larry Suffredin, an Evanston Democrat, cast the lone vote against repeal, calling the tax “essential” for the delivery of county services and saying he admired Preckwinkle for her efforts to fight for the tax and praising Bloomberg for his years of public health campaigns for gun control, tobacco taxes and soda taxes. Commissioner Jerry “Iceman” Butler, a Chicago Democrat, was absent.

Daley said the work of cutting 11 percent from Preckwinkle’s proposed $5.4 billion budget was about to begin. Noting that the bureaucracy directly controlled by Preckwinkle accounts for less than 10 percent of county spending, Daley urged other countywide elected officials like the sheriff, state’s attorney and circuit court clerk — who he said were “extremely silent on this tax” — to help balance the budget.

And remember to curse BIG SODA while you cut cut cut.

Meanwhile, Democratic Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski of McCook pushed back against the contention that county government cannot do without the money the pop tax generates.

“Our focus needs to change from the Cadillac plan to the one that we can afford,” Tobolski said. “We gotta take the $200 million out of the budget. That’s what we gotta do.”

“This is not our money,” added Tobolski, who said it was “being taken from the working families of Cook County.”

At least one Democrat can read the political tea leaves.


As Cook County rescinds soda tax, statewide push continues to prevent similar sin taxes

The Cook County Board on Wednesday formalized its decision to rescind a penny-per-ounce tax on sugary and artificially-flavored beverages, while a bipartisan group of state lawmakers hopes to ban all Illinois counties from imposing a similar tax on consumers.

A day after the board’s Finance Committee voted 15-1 to recommend rescinding the tax, the full board ratified that vote, 15-2. The tax, which went into effect Aug. 2, will stop being collected Dec. 1.

At the state level, state Rep. Marty Moylan, D-Des Plaines, is a chief cosponsor of House Bill 4083. The measure would prohibit counties from imposing soda taxes in the future. He said people see right through such money grabs.

“Because none of the money is being used to offset the risks of diabetes or obesity,” Moylan said. “It’s all going to pay other things.”

Tax Foundation Policy Analyst Morgan Scarboro said the goals of most excise taxes, also known as sin taxes, don’t make sense.

“So politicians get to say ‘A) We’re going to make people healthy, we’re going to make them better off, and B), we’re going to generate a ton of revenue to fix our budget problems,’” Scarboro said. “But when you think about it, those goals are actually at odds with each other.”

“It is a disconnect because it doesn’t work,” Moylan said. “The tax on pop isn’t going to help people get healthier. Exercise and diet is what makes people healthier.”

The reason I say “No, don’t do it” is because it’s a great way for people to recognize that they’ve not been paying enough attention to the people they voted into office, and that they voted in dotards.



What about the one commissioner who voted to keep the tax?

Commentary: Why I voted to keep Cook County’s soda tax

By Larry Suffredin
OCTOBER 11, 2017, 3:15 PM

The most important role of a county commissioner is to pass a yearly budget that meets the needs of the
residents and fairly balances services and costs.

I voted Wednesday — along with Commissioner Jerry Butler — to keep Cook County’s sweetened beverage tax
because it was a tax on a small number of people rather than a general sales or property tax on all. This tax had a twofold purpose: First, it provided enough revenue to balance our 2017 budget without gimmicks. Second, it helped us fight the increase in heart disease, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis and the high cost of treatment.

Unfortunately, repeal of the sweetened beverage tax also repeals the law that prohibited the raising of any taxes by Cook County until after 2020. This tax limitation covered property taxes, sales taxes and home-rule excise taxes. The repeal of the tax limitation means all taxes are in play.

Uh huh.

To address my bolded bit: the soda tax was a gimmick. Come on.

As for the last paragraph there, oh boo hoo about those tax rates. They don’t increase themselves on their own, now do they?

A law prohibiting raising any tax rates until 2020? AND IT WAS RESCINDED BY ACT OF THE BOARD?

Holy shit, this is basic logic. Their “law” was easily enough overturned, here in 2017. Any time they felt it was “necessary” to raise taxes, they would have just rescinded that law and passed the taxes they wanted to tax.

This is frickin’ absurd.

Finally, the will of the board changed on this tax. It was repealed. I voted to keep the tax because it was a reasonable tax with prohibition on further tax increases, and it is bad policy to change taxes outside the budget process.

That last bit I agree with.

But that the soda tax precluded further tax increases is just so laughable coming out of a Cook County politician. But I guess lack of shame is a requirement to be in that position.

Or lack of logic.


Cook County retailers cheer soda tax repeal: ‘This was a nightmare’

Daniel Stein estimates Cook County’s sweetened beverage tax has cost his vending machine company about $75,000 so far, a figure that doesn’t even include lost sales.

The Dec. 1 repeal of the penny-per-ounce tax on sugar and artificially sweetened beverages likely will cost him
more before it’s all over. He’ll again have to send technicians to his 850 or so vending machines in Cook County to adjust the price of products. But Stein feels only happiness and relief that the tax that’s consumed his life for months will soon go away.

“I don’t want to sound judgy but this whole thing has been kind of unfortunate. I’m just glad it’s almost over. …
Closure is good,” said Stein, owner of Northbrook-based Mark Vend.

Okay, “judgy” and “closure”. You almost deserve the horror that was the soda tax.


At Fairplay Foods in suburban Worth, sweetened beverage sales were down about 47 percent, said Rosie Regas, co-owner of the independent chain. Fairplay’s three Chicago stores saw a smaller but still significant drop in sweetened drink sales of around 27 percent.

Regas said she didn’t blame customers for shopping elsewhere; she did the same, driving from her home in Orland Park into Will County to avoid the tax.

“This was a nightmare. I get it — the county needs money. But find another way,” Regas said. And the hospitality industry already has been feeling the cumulative burden of various taxes, said Sam Toia,
CEO of the Illinois Restaurant Association. The sweetened beverage tax did nothing but further diminish
already thin profit margins, he said.

Anyway, congrats deli & convenience store owners!


Oh, where shall they ever get the money? What will happen to their credit rating?

Cook County soda tax repeal has S&P’s attention

CHICAGO – Cook County, Illinois must move quickly to tackle a $200 million hole left by a repeal of its sweetened beverage or risk damage to its credit profile, S&P Global Ratings warned.

“Depending on the resulting severity of the repeal’s effects on the county’s budget and, ultimately, its financial position, it could impact credit quality,” S&P analysts Lisa Schroeer and Helen Samuelson wrote in a commentary published after the county board overwhelmingly voted Wednesday to repeal the penny-per-ounce sweetened beverage.

The tax was originally approved in November 2016 and collections in Chicago and its neighboring suburbs began in August after a one-month court imposed delay due to a legal challenge. It will end Nov. 30 ahead of the Dec. 1 start of the county’s fiscal 2018, leaving a $200 million hole in a proposed $5 billion operating budget.

“S&P Global Ratings views the repeal as adding uncertainty to the county’s budget, and without expenditure reductions or revenue enhancements, the repeal will weaken the county’s financial position,” S&P wrote.

I always love the “revenue enhancements” corp-speak. Aka raising taxes.

The soda tax was repealed, but Cook County still has to find a way to fund the government

In the wake of today’s repeal of the Cook County soda tax, I’d like to give a shout-out to the Cook County Board commissioner who’s been speaking the most sensibly on the issue of the county’s need to pay its bills.

That would be Larry Suffredin, the pride and joy of Evanston. He was one of two commissioners who, in a 15-2 vote, decided against a repeal; the other was Jerry “Iceman” Butler.

At least one person has the Iceman’s back.


Okay, I will just pull out the part that really made me laugh:

The attitude of state, county, and city officials toward funding government reminds me of those Hollywood players who chose to ignore evidence that Harvey Weinstein allegedly was sexually abusing women.

Dear lord, was that obligatory or something? I didn’t see a gratuitous Trump mention, but perhaps the writer was pushing their word limit on the piece.


So, maybe I have a few more soda tax pieces within me, but only if some people don’t stop picking that scab.

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