Cook County Board Passes Sweetened Beverage Tax
Seen as Win-Win Source of Revenue for Cook County’s Fiscal and Physical Health
Chicago, Ill – Nov. 10, 2016 The Cook County Board of Commissioners voted to approve a penny-per-ounce sweetened beverage tax to support public safety and public health. In a 9-8 vote, the County Board approved the new revenue as part of the Fiscal Year 2017 budget, which invests in the County’s health and hospital system and public safety and justice system.
The strategy of raising revenues for health through a small excise tax on sugary drinks has been discussed in Illinois since it was included in the 2007 Illinois State Health Improvement Plan. The Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity (IAPO), convened by the Illinois Public Health Institute (IPHI), has been advocating for a sugary drink tax as a healthy source of revenue to invest in public health since 2010. Cook County is now the largest jurisdiction in the country to pass this type of tax.
IAPO thanks Commissioners Arroyo, Butler, Daley, Garcia, Moody, Moore, Sims, Suffredin, and Board President Toni Preckwinkle for the courage to stand up for the health of their constituents and communities, support a healthy county budget, and vote yes on this ordinance.
“The regular consumption of sugary drinks is linked to increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity, which especially impact low-income and minority populations in Cook County. This tax will help to address a major source of added sugar in the diet — sugary drinks — while investing in important county services,” said Elissa Bassler, CEO of the Illinois Public Health Institute.
Janna Simon, Program Manager at the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity said, “On the heels of sugary drink taxes also passing in San Francisco, Oakland, and Albany, California and Boulder, Colorado, we’re excited that Cook County is part of the national movement to address sugary drinks. The Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity looks forward to working with the County Board and President Preckwinkle to ensure that 5 percent of the revenues from this tax are invested into chronic disease prevention initiatives in communities.”