In a nearly unanimous vote by the Cook County Board on October 11th, the Cook County sweetened beverage tax has been repealed. Passed in early August 2017, the controversial tax was only in effect for two months before lawmakers decided to retire it. Proponents of the tax reasoned the tax is an effective way to fight obesity and other related health conditions, while also generating income for the county. Opponents of the tax argued that it damaged small businesses and led to plummeting store sales, as customers simply went across county lines to purchase beverages subject to the tax. Large corporations including PepsiCo and Coca-Cola spent millions of dollars fighting the tax. Lawmakers now have until the end of November to adjust the Cook County budget to account for the $200 million of revenue the County estimates the tax would have brought in. The repeal goes into effect December 1, 2017.
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