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Preckwinkle's sweetened beverage tax repealed

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Chicago Rethinks Soda Tax

Former McDonald's USA CEO Ed Rensi sounds off on Illinois' soda tax.

The Cook County Board of Commissioners voted, 15-2, to repeal a penny-per-ounce tax that went into effect on August 2.

Low-tax advocates cheered the decision as a blow to the "nanny-state crusade".

After delays related to a lawsuit from the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, the tax on sugary beverages went into effect this past August.

Healthy Food America's executive director Dr. Jim Krieger said that Cook County's success in repealing the sweetened beverage tax was unique to state's tax legislation; and that it would not stop the momentum of other taxes that have taken effect across the U.S., including Philadelphia and Seattle earlier this year.

"If there is one city America's tax and spenders should be able muscle through the latest tax fad, it would be Chicago".

The tax also applies to hundreds of premade sweetened beverages besides pop. Preckwinkle has said there could be an 11 percent budget cut resulting in layoffs with repeal of the tax. David Goldenberg, a spokesman for the industry-funded Can the Tax Coalition said that Consumer indignation is off the charts. But even he couldn't make moves against large beverage corporations, who obviously opposed a tax.

The Chicago Tribune reported that 12 out of 17 commissioners have signed on to repeal the sugary drink tax ordinance-enough to override a veto by the board president.

Preckwinkle and commissioners will have to decide how they will fill an approximate $200 million budget hole that the tax would have satisfied.

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