Chicago’s Insane Soda Tax Shows What Happens When Crooked Govts Collapse—They Rob the People

Monday, August 7, 2017
By Paul Martin

Cook County could lose up to 25 percent of its retail sales, as citizens move their purchases to neighboring counties, in order to avoid the newly implemented “soda tax.”

By Jack Burns
August 7, 2017

When Chicago implemented a new tax on soft drinks, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association responded with a lawsuit arguing that the tax should be overturned because it would hurt sales. While the lawsuit failed, the county is now reportedly retaliating against IRMA to the tune of $17 million.

According to a report from Chicago Tonight, “The county is looking for some payback from those suing to stop the new sweetened beverage tax.” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s office confirmed that it is suing IRMA for “damages” brought about by their lawsuit. At issue is the county’s contention the lawsuit delayed the county’s ability to rake in taxes hand over fist from the consumption of soda.

Preckwinkle’s spokesman Frank Shuftan told Crain’s Chicago Business Journal in an email, “The financial damage to the county as a result of this delay is projected at more than $20 million … The county has every right to be made whole as a result of the judge’s ruling upholding the ordinance and removing the TRO (temporary restraining order).” In other words, Cook County wants the money they would have received from the tax, had IRMA not filed a lawsuit in the first place.

The move to sue IRMA admittedly upset County Judge Daniel Kubasiak, who said:

“I can tell you that I’m troubled by this, the chilling effect of the government saying that you best not challenge us because if you’re proven wrong we will come and get damages from you.”

Preckwinkle’s office responded by saying, “Our motion seeking damages has nothing to do with chilling anyone; it is to capture badly needed revenues to which the county is entitled based on the ordinance.”

The county’s response may be indicative of its budgetary woes. It has been projected that Cook County’s budget shortfall will likely reach $98 million, even with the soda tax factored in. The county even wanted to make the tax applicable to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as “food stamps,” but the courts prohibited the attempt by Cook County to tax its own governmental program.

The Rest…HERE

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