The commissioners of Cook County, Illinois, voted last week to repeal the Soda Tax they had recently implemented. As a major critic of soda taxes, food policy expert Baylen Linnekin celebrates:
It was big news when lawmakers in the second largest county in the United States voted last year to adopt the soda tax. Supporters hailed it as "the biggest deal yet."
But guess what? It's an even bigger deal that the tax has been repealed.
The short-lived tax, passed in November 2016, was a disaster. Billed as a way to raise revenue and improve residents' health, instead it spurred lawsuits and threats from the federal government. Retailers complained beverage sales had plummeted by nearly half, thanks in part to wealthier consumers avoiding the tax by driving outside the county to buy soda.
Chicago learned soda taxes aren't the panacea their supporters claim.
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