Illinois’ bubbling soda tax rebellion

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Illinois' bubbling soda tax rebellion

By John Ruberry

And it was inevitable that some of these peo­ple pushed back…“
Ray Brad­bury, The Mar­t­ian Chronicles.

Could it be that the deep-​blue res­i­dents of America’s second-​most pop­u­lous county, Cook County – Chicago is the county seat – have had enough?

Prob­a­bly not, at least yet. But seri­ous dis­sent may be bub­bling as the effects of Cook County’s unpop­u­lar soda tax sink to the bot­tom of the glass.

Cook County Board Pres­i­dent Toni “Taxwin­kle” Preck­win­kle, a for­mer Chicago alder­man who rep­re­sented the Uni­ver­sity of Chicago area – the Oba­mas were among her con­stituents – touted that tax as a pub­lic health mea­sure. The new tax cov­ers not just soda but also many other sweet­ened bev­er­ages includ­ing those with corn syrup, such as diet sodas, some iced teas, and bot­tled sweet­ened Star­bucks cof­fee – but not, for instance, cavity-​causing Frap­puc­ci­nos pre­pared at a Star­bucks loca­tion by a barista. Even “free refills” are taxed now. But Preck­win­kle, a hard­ened left­ist, exposed her true col­ors by suing a retail asso­ci­a­tion that delayed col­lec­tion in a legal chal­lenge of the tax for a month for $17 mil­lion of what she claims is lost rev­enue. That is how thug states such as Venezuela and Rus­sia are run. Dis­sent will not be tol­er­ated – ene­mies will be punished.

Preck­win­kle defeated a Demo­c­ra­tic incum­bent in a 2010 pri­mary elec­tion vow­ing to repeal an unpop­u­lar one-​percent county sales tax. She phased it out, yes. But last year Preck­win­kle brought it back.

And the soda tax was never about health. If it was, then why the law­suit? Taxwin­kle is a liar. Besides, fed­eral law pre­vents tax­ing food stamp recip­i­ents – there are nearly 900,000 of them in Cook County – on their sweet­ened bev­er­age pur­chases. Poor peo­ple con­sume larger amounts of sweet­ened bev­er­ages than wealth­ier folks and the health prob­lems blamed on these drinks, such as dia­betes and obe­sity, are more preva­lent among the less wealthy.

The soda tax is a penny per ounce. That doesn’t seem like much, but the cost of a case of Diet Coke, as you seen in this Tweet, soars by 5o-​percent after the Taxwin­kle tax is fig­ured in.

My friends and co-​workers – and yes, there are some lib­eral Democ­rats within that group – are furi­ous about the soda tax, even the ones who don’t drink what most peo­ple here call “pop.” Yes­ter­day one man told me, “I live just south of Lake County, I’m going to buy all my Coke there,” adding, “There is a big sign out­side the Tar­get there, ‘No county sug­ary drink tax here.’” And of course he won’t only buy soda there – he’ll prob­a­bly buy most, maybe all of his gro­ceries there. Why wait in two long check-​out lines? Gro­cers on the wrong side of the county line not only will face lower sales, some may be forced to close down and of course lay off their employ­ees. Oh, I for­got to tell that new Lake County shop­per that he should top off his gas tank up there, as there is also a Cook County gaso­line tax.

And there are so many other taxes Cook County res­i­dents, par­tic­u­larly Chicagoans, have to endure. In an exam­ple pro­vided by the free mar­ket Illi­nois Pol­icy Insti­tute, the base price of a two liter bot­tle of pop is $2.49. But when the 67 county soda tax is added, on top of the nation’s high­est 10.25 per­cent sales tax, and an addi­tional 3 per­cent Chicago soda tax, the true cost of that soda jug is $3.49. And if you accept a bag, paper or plas­tic, when you buy that sug­ary drink in Chicago, there is an addi­tional 7 cent per bag tax. Unless you are pay­ing by food stamps, for­mally known as SNAP – the “N” stands for nutri­tion – with your Illi­nois Link card.

When was the last time you devoured a gro­cery bag?

Keep­ing track of all of these taxes are a night­mare for retail­ers. That extra cost of course is passed on to consumers.

Last month Illi­nois’ income tax rate was hiked by 32 per­cent. Illi­noisans are bur­dened with among the high­est prop­erty rates in the nation. Yet, Illi­nois, Cook County, and Chicago are func­tion­ally bank­rupt, which exposes another left-​wing lie – fis­cal sta­bil­ity in Democratic-​run sink­holes is always only just one more tax hike away.

Why does Crook County need the soda tax, and yes, the next tax, what ever that one is going to be? To pay for lav­ish but woefully-​underfunded county worker pen­sions and the Cook County Health System.

Chicago is a sanc­tu­ary city and Cook is a sanc­tu­ary county – Cook County health facil­i­ties are often the health care provider of choice of the area’s large pop­u­la­tion of ille­gal immi­grants. No, I’m not say­ing we should cut off care to ille­gals with health con­cerns, but as a Cook County tax­payer, it’s fair to know what that care costs me.

Lib­er­al­ism is very expensive.

[cap­tion id=“attachment_95046” align=“alignright” width=“300”] Blog­ger in down­town Chicago[/caption]

Next year Taxwin­kle will face vot­ers. She’ll prob­a­bly be reelected. Rebel­lions take time to build, after all, it took ten years from the pas­sage of the Stamp Act until the first bat­tle of the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion to be fought.

How did Preck­win­kle fare in her last elec­tion? She ran unopposed.

Shame on you, Cook County Repub­li­can Party.

Mean­while Illi­nois, Cook County, and Chicago con­tinue to lose residents.

Qui­etly, the rebel­lion has begun.

John Ruberry reg­u­larly blogs at Marathon Pun­dit.

By John Ruberry

“And it was inevitable that some of these people pushed back…”
Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles.

Could it be that the deep-blue residents of America’s second-most populous county, Cook County–Chicago is the county seat–have had enough?

Probably not, at least yet. But serious dissent may be bubbling as the effects of Cook County’s unpopular soda tax sink to the bottom of the glass.

Cook County Board President Toni “Taxwinkle” Preckwinkle, a former Chicago alderman who represented the University of Chicago area–the Obamas were among her constituents–touted that tax as a public health measure. The new tax covers not just soda but also many other sweetened beverages including those with corn syrup, such as diet sodas, some iced teas, and bottled sweetened Starbucks coffee–but not, for instance, cavity-causing Frappuccinos prepared at a Starbucks location by a barista. Even “free refills” are taxed now. But Preckwinkle, a hardened leftist, exposed her true colors by suing a retail association that delayed collection in a legal challenge of the tax for a month for $17 million of what she claims is lost revenue. That is how thug states such as Venezuela and Russia are run. Dissent will not be tolerated–enemies will be punished.

Preckwinkle defeated a Democratic incumbent in a 2010 primary election vowing to repeal an unpopular one-percent county sales tax. She phased it out, yes. But last year Preckwinkle brought it back.

And the soda tax was never about health. If it was, then why the lawsuit? Taxwinkle is a liar. Besides, federal law prevents taxing food stamp recipients–there are nearly 900,000 of them in Cook County–on their sweetened beverage purchases. Poor people consume larger amounts of sweetened beverages than wealthier folks and the health problems blamed on these drinks, such as diabetes and obesity, are more prevalent among the less wealthy.

The soda tax is a penny per ounce. That doesn’t seem like much, but the cost of a case of Diet Coke, as you seen in this Tweet, soars by 5o-percent after the Taxwinkle tax is figured in.

My friends and co-workers–and yes, there are some liberal Democrats within that group–are furious about the soda tax, even the ones who don’t drink what most people here call “pop.” Yesterday one man told me, “I live just south of Lake County, I’m going to buy all my Coke there,” adding, “There is a big sign outside the Target there, ‘No county sugary drink tax here.'” And of course he won’t only buy soda there–he’ll probably buy most, maybe all of his groceries there. Why wait in two long check-out lines? Grocers on the wrong side of the county line not only will face lower sales, some may be forced to close down and of course lay off their employees. Oh, I forgot to tell that new Lake County shopper that he should top off his gas tank up there, as there is also a Cook County gasoline tax.

And there are so many other taxes Cook County residents, particularly Chicagoans, have to endure. In an example provided by the free market Illinois Policy Institute, the base price of a two liter bottle of pop is $2.49. But when the 67 county soda tax is added, on top of the nation’s highest 10.25 percent sales tax, and an additional 3 percent Chicago soda tax, the true cost of that soda jug is $3.49. And if you accept a bag, paper or plastic, when you buy that sugary drink in Chicago, there is an additional 7 cent per bag tax. Unless you are paying by food stamps, formally known as SNAP–the “N” stands for nutrition–with your Illinois Link card.

When was the last time you devoured a grocery bag?

Keeping track of all of these taxes are a nightmare for retailers. That extra cost of course is passed on to consumers.

Last month Illinois’ income tax rate was hiked by 32 percent. Illinoisans are burdened with among the highest property rates in the nation. Yet, Illinois, Cook County, and Chicago are functionally bankrupt, which exposes another left-wing lie–fiscal stability in Democratic-run sinkholes is always only just one more tax hike away.

Why does Crook County need the soda tax, and yes, the next tax, what ever that one is going to be? To pay for lavish but woefully-underfunded county worker pensions and the Cook County Health System.

Chicago is a sanctuary city and Cook is a sanctuary county–Cook County health facilities are often the health care provider of choice of the area’s large population of illegal immigrants. No, I’m not saying we should cut off care to illegals with health concerns, but as a Cook County taxpayer, it’s fair to know what that care costs me.

Liberalism is very expensive.

Blogger in downtown Chicago

Next year Taxwinkle will face voters. She’ll probably be reelected. Rebellions take time to build, after all, it took ten years from the passage of the Stamp Act until the first battle of the American Revolution to be fought.

How did Preckwinkle fare in her last election? She ran unopposed.

Shame on you, Cook County Republican Party.

Meanwhile Illinois, Cook County, and Chicago continue to lose residents.

Quietly, the rebellion has begun.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.