CHICAGO Passes The Soda Tax After A Circuit Judge Ruled In Cook County’s Favor.

Via The Chicago Suntimes

Cook County’s sweetened beverage tax will go into effect Aug. 2 after a circuit judge ruled in the county’s favor.
Judge Daniel Kubasiak announced his ruling Friday afternoon, lifting a previous restraining order. While the tax was on hold, the county laid off hundreds of public employees.
“The court concludes that the merchants have not and that the county’s motion to dismiss must be granted.”

The new tax will be added on top of Chicago’s highest in the nation sales tax of 10.25 percent and the city’s 3 percent tax on non-alcoholic beverages

With the new sugary beverage tax, soda in Chicago will be some of the most expensive in the nation as a $4 12-pack of soda will cost $5.97, an effective tax rate of nearly 50 percent.

The controversial tax was supposed to go into effect July 1, but a lawsuit from the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and other retailers stalled the tax.
Kubasiak issued a temporary restraining order on the tax on June 30.
That order was continued another week, to July 12, and another, to July 21, and then once more until Friday.

“I can only imagine the outrage felt by consumers throughout Cook County as they may soon have to pay this tax.”
David Ruskin, who represented the merchants, said that a notice of appeal to the Illinois Appellate Court was possible but they needed to “digest” that and “determine what the next best steps are.”
Preckwinkle said in a statement that the lost revenue from the tax means the county will continue reviewing its finances.

“The delay in implementing the tax caused by the merchants’ lawsuit forced us to put into motion cost-saving measures to cope with this revenue loss, which currently is at least $17 million,” Preckwinkle said. 

“Until we are able to fully implement and collect revenues from this tax, we will continue to review our financial position and make adjustments accordingly.”
“This is an invitation for residents in this county to leave the county and shop elsewhere which puts retailers at risk and, frankly, puts the county’s budget at risk.”