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Cook County to tax soda July 2017


 Cook County will tax sweetened beverages beginning July 1, 2017.

Update 6.30.2017: The Cook County beverage tax will not take effect on July 1. The constitutionality of the tax is being challenged in court, and the tax on hold until the litigation is resolved.

In step with a burgeoning national trend, the board of Cook County, Illinois has decided to tax soda and other sweetened beverages. Given its population of more than five million, Cook County will be the most populated locality to impose such a tax once it takes effect on July 1, 2017.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who cast the deciding vote today and has long voiced support for the penny-per-ounce tax, is counting on the tax to generate revenue and reduce consumption. In a statement praising the County Board of Commissioners for their approval of the tax, she said it will prevent damaging tax cuts and additional tax hikes and stabilize county finances for the next three fiscal years. Preckwinkle also spoke of the “positive role” the tax can have in helping reduce health problems such as diabetes and obesity. Yet the president is well aware of the contentious nature of this tax. In her Cook County Executive Budget Recommendation for fiscal year 2017, she called the decision to move forward with the sweetened beverage tax “difficult, but necessary.”

The sweetened beverage tax will apply to canned and bottled sweetened beverages and fountain drinks, diet drinks, and flavored/enhanced water. Taxable beverages include the following:

  • Carbonated soft drinks
  • Energy drinks
  • Fruit beverages (excluding 100% fruit juice)
  • Ready-to-drink (RTD) tea and coffee
  • Sports drinks like Gatorade

Additional details will be forthcoming.

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Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.