New tax on soda, sugary drinks starts July 1 in Cook County

- Carbonated soft drinks and sugary fruit drinks are poised to cost most in Cook County starting July 1.

That's when the new penny-per-ounce tax on a variety of sugar- and artificially-sweetened beverages goes into effect. The tax applies to fountain drinks, bottled and canned beverages. The Chicago Tribune reports the tax covers diet soda and regular soda, ready-to-drink sweetened coffees and teas, sports and energy drinks and juice products that aren't 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice.

Cook County approved the tax in November. It's designed to raise millions in revenue, but promoted as a way to reduce soda consumption and improve public health. Officials estimate it will bring in about $200 million a year. It doesn't apply to those who receive benefits from the federal food stamp program.

 

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