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Illinois Senate eyes soda tax

1 year, 3 months ago from pantagraph.com

The new plan would add an extra penny on every ounce sold in sealed containers, along with the syrups and powders used to flavor them

From from pantagraph.com:

Illinois shoppers could find themselves paying extra for soft drinks under a proposed statewide soda tax.

The new plan would add an extra penny on every ounce of sugary drinks sold in sealed containers, along with the syrups and powders used to flavor them.

The tax is part of a broader plan to promote healthy living in Illinois, according to state Sen. Mattie Hunter, D-Chicago, who sponsored the legislation. Revenue from the tax would go toward a range of health services and education initiatives.

"Numerous studies have linked excessive consumption of sugary soft drinks to obesity," Hunter said in an email. "We as a state need to do a better job of educating the public and children in particular about this issue and the health risks."

The proposal has drawn criticism from the Illinois Coalition Against Beverage Taxes — an alliance of manufacturers, retailers and union workers who say the tax would harm the economy and kill jobs in Illinois.

"You reduce consumption, and you reduce employment," said Brian Rainville, a spokesman for Teamsters Joint Council 25 in Chicago and northwest Indiana. "If there's less being made and distributed, there's fewer people doing those jobs.

"Politicians are always talking about creating middle-class jobs, and these are those jobs. These are the good, middle-class jobs that people want to create."

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