Beverage Tax Repealed

John Seed, known as the Father, preaching to his followers. Photo Credit: Chloee Toro

By: Ariana Lopez ’18

On Oct. 11, the very much debated Soda Tax was brought up to vote, in which ended in a repeal of the tax. A ‘repeal,’ according to Dictionary.com, is to “revoke or withdraw” any law or policy passed by congress.

The tax, initiated by Toni Preckwinkle, who is the Cook County Board President, was implemented in August. It was meant to increase the price for sugary drinks, thus reducing the consumption/purchase of them. This would then reduce health concerns like obesity or diabetes. Many families and communities felt strongly about the upgrade in tax, whether positive or negative.

An argument presented against the Beverage Tax was that it was a disadvantage for people who relied on those drinks for consumption. Not a lot of people were able to afford anything else, which resulted in them relying on sweetened drinks.

An argument presented for the Beverage Tax was that due to its high price; it would encourage people not to buy it, which would then reduce concerns surrounding sweetened drinks. Concerns like child obesity, diabetes, etc. In regards to this argument, TheEconomist.com states, “Fizzy sugary drinks contain mainly empty calories and promote tooth decay, so it makes sense to make them less attractive by increasing their price.”

An issue with the passing of the tax is how quick it was moving. Because it was rushed, it failed to miss things like demographics, locations, impact on companies, and food stamps, says The Economist, adding, “IT MUST have been one of the shortest-lived taxes in the history of Illinois.”

According to CBS Chicago, the amount of people who voted to actually repeal the tax was large, hitting a surprising ratio of 15-2. In regards to the numbers, Commissioner Sean Morrison, in charge of district authorities, stated, “It was the citizens who made this. The citizens who made the phone calls, who wrote the letters. Without their involvement, this likely would not have passed.”

It is fair to say that the majority of people were very much against the beverage taxing. Not only do voting polls show it, but people’s reactions throughout social media show it as well. “Local lawmakers were flooded with calls to get rid of the tax,” stated The Economists, and clearly, it all payed off.