Contrary To Facebook Post, Kane Not Looking at Soda Tax

Contrary To Facebook Post, Kane Not Looking at Soda Tax

A Facebook post by a Gov. Bruce Rauner political organization is asking citizens to sign a petition to stop the Cook County soda tax from “spilling over to Kane County.”

The only problem is, Kane County isn’t considering a soda tax, County Board member Kurt Kojzarek said today (Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017).

“Needless to say, I was more than a little shocked to see this petition from the governor pop up on my Facebook news feed,” he said. “The claim is completely false. Kane County has zero interest in adding to the tax burden. We support our local retailers, and prefer not to place burdens or obstacles on them or the consumers.”

Kojzarek, who serves on nine Kane County committees including the Finance and Budget Committee, said he is not aware of any discussion or interest regarding a beverage tax here.

“I just want to make it clear to any constituents who might have seen the post that we are not talking about instituting a sweetened beverage tax,” he said.

The petition targeted to Kane County citizens is posted on the website.

Cook County instituted the Sweetened Beverage Tax on Nov. 10, 2016, which imposes a tax of $0.01 per ounce on the retail sale of all sweetened beverages in Cook County. The ordinance was to have gone into effect on March 1, but a lawsuit filed against Cook County held up the program. The lawsuit was dismissed, and the tax collection from purchasers began Aug. 2.

Kojzarek pointed out that the Cook County tax could be a boon to businesses in Kane County, which shares a border with Cook County. According to Kojzarek, a 99-cent bottle of sugared beverage would cost a consumer $1.06 in Kane County and $1.75 in Cook County.

The Illinois General Assembly is presently considering House Bill 4082, introduced in August, which would prevent any home rule county from imposing a tax on sweetened beverages based on volume sold. That bill would void “any county ordinance adopted on or before the effective date” of the legislation.

The penny-per-ounce sweetened beverage tax in Cook County applies to all sweetened drinks, even those with a sugar substitute, but does not include drinks that are 100 percent natural fruit or vegetable juice.

(CREDIT: Screenshot from website)

Cook County Sweetened Beverage Tax Exclusions

  • 100 percent natural fruit/vegetable juice, syrup and powder with no added sweetener
  • Milk, soy, rice, or similar milk substitutes that are the primary ingredient (more than 50 percent)
  • Unsweetened drinks to which a purchaser can add, or can request that a retailer add, sugar, at the point of sale
  • Infant formula
  • Beverages for medical use
  • Weight reduction/therapeutic nutritional meal replacements
  • Any syrup or powder that the consumer himself or herself combines with other ingredients to create a beverage