Cook County soda pop tax on hold – Government News

on Jul1

30 June 2017 | 7:44 pm

(AP) — A judge has blocked implementation of Cook County’s penny-per-ounce tax on sweetened beverages. It was set to go into effect Saturday.

Circuit Judge Daniel Kubasiak on Friday granted a temporary restraining order requested by the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and several grocers. (You can read the judge’s order at the end of this story.) In a lawsuit against the Cook County Department of Revenue they argue the tax is unconstitutional and vague.

Read more:
Retailers sue to stop soda pop tax
Why Toni Preckwinkle wants your pop to cost more
Preckwinkle’s soda tax is no way to stabilize our economy

County officials have said the new tax is needed to pay for services and will improve the public’s health over time.

Plaintiff’s attorney David Ruskin told Kubasiak during a Thursday hearing that a temporary restraining order was needed because there isn’t a system in place for those who would be due a refund if the tax is found unconstitutional.

Fountain drinks and those in sealed containers would be taxed. Exempt from the tax are sweetened coffee drinks like those made at coffee shops and purchases made with food stamps.

Cook County TRO Opinion and Order by AnnRWeiler on Scribd

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