Here We Go Again! Cook County government officials are proposing ANOTHER Tax on beverages.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the beverage tax?
On July 1, Cook County will implement a penny-per-ounce beverage tax on more than 1,000 everyday beverages, including juice and sports drinks, flavored waters, pop, iced tea. Even beverages with no calories and no sugar will be taxed.
How much more will beverages cost after the tax goes into effect on July 1?
The penny-per-ounce tax adds up quickly. If the tax is allowed to go into effect on July 1, it will cause Cook County consumers to have to pay on average:
  • 67% MORE for a 2-liter of pop
  • 43% MORE for a gallon of juice drink or sweetened iced tea
  • 29% MORE for a 12-pack
And none of these costs include the City of Chicago’s 3% beverage tax and Cook County’s 10.25% sales tax!
How will this tax affect Cook County residents and businesses?
A 2016 economic analysis concluded that the estimated impact of Cook County’s beverage will be devastating:
  • 6,100 lost jobs
  • $321 million in lost wages
  • $1.3 billion in lost economic activity
We cannot risk these devastating effects in Cook County.
What has happened in other communities with a beverage tax?
Residents, businesses and consumers have paid a heavy price.

In just four short months, for example, Philadelphia businesses, consumes and workers have experienced economic losses far greater than originally predicted, including:
  • Beverage sales plummeted as much as 50 percent at some local groceries and local beverage distributors reported up to a 45 percent decline in sales, while sales increased at retail outlets just outside Philadelphia city lines. (Bloomberg Markets, 2/17/17)
  • The equivalent of more than 400 jobs have been lost through layoffs and cutbacks in hours at local retailers, restaurants and manufacturers. (Bloomberg Markets, 2/17/17;, 3/1/17;, 4/28/17)
  • Public revenue from the new tax has failed to meet projected totals (News Release, Ax the Philly Bev Tax Coalition, 5/3/17)
“In 30 years of business, there’s never been a circumstance in which we’ve ever had a sales decline of any significant amount,” said Jeff Brown, chief executive officer of Brown’s Super Stores in Philadelphia during an interview with Bloomberg Markets in February. Brown’s Super Stores operates 12 ShopRites and Fresh Grocer supermarkets. Brown continued, “I would describe the impact as nothing less than devastating.”
Will a beverage tax make people healthy?
No. Taxes on common beverages or foods have never been shown to improve public health.

Soda consumption has been falling since 1999 and is at a 30-year low, yet rates of obesity and diabetes have gone up about 24% during the same time period. If the two are connected, shouldn’t obesity rates have gone down with the drop in soda consumption?
Where is the money going?
Cook County has announced it will use revenue from the beverage tax to fill budget shortfalls. There are other ways to generate revenue or make spending cuts in the County which will not result in 6,300 lost jobs, $321 million in lost wages and $1.3 billion in lost economic activity.
What can I do to help stop beverage taxes in Cook County?
Join the fight! Register at to send a message to your commissioner and receive updates on how you can get involved.

Take action now!