Illinois Soda Tax Will Impact All Retailers Selling Sugary Drinks

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Illinois Soda Tax Will Impact All Retailers Selling Sugary Drinks

Officials in Illinois will attempt a Philadelphia-style soda tax implemented on retailers statewide, which critics argue will only lead to higher prices and angry shoppers.

The proposed legislation will place a large beverage tax on sugary products in the name of improving public health and curbing obesity. The obesity rate in Illinois is roughly 30 percent of the adult population, up from only 12 percent in 1990. The legislation covers anything with sugar flavoring, including tea, coffee, juices and soda. Specifically, legislators propose a one cent per ounce tax on sugary drinks, which is expected to hike the prices of some products by roughly 50 percent, reports Illinois Times.

Local businesses are concerned it will put another onerous financial burden on stores. The tax applies to retailers, who will then adjust their product prices to account for the added costs, which could be imposed by May 2017.

“It certainly will set a new standard for bad tax policies,” Rob Karr, president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, told Illinois Times. “It’s not a reliable tax source. It’s an administrative nightmare and it continues to profit a narrow base when Illinois needs to go in the opposite direction.”

Owners of coffee shops and markets throughout the state are voicing opposition to the tax, which they fear will drive away business.

While not nearly as costly as the recently introduced soda tax in Philadelphia, the proposal will still lead to a noticeable markup on sugary products. A 12-pack of 12-ounce soda cans will cost roughly $1.44 more if the state legislators pass the proposal.

Benefits of the Illinois Soda Tax

Rhonda Andrews, president of the Illinois Association of Public Health Administrators, argues this legislation is key to solving the growing obesity problem and other chronic illnesses.

“To this date in Illinois, approximately 62.2 percent of adults are overweight and one in three children are overweight or obese,” Andrews told Illinois Times. “Adults who drink one to two servings per day are 26 percent more likely to develop type-2 diabetes than those who drink zero to one per month. If we have a healthier population, chronic disease rates go down right along with health insurance premiums. This is a win-win for the state of Illinois and our communities!”

Illinois is currently drowning in debt, owing more than $11 billion in unpaid obligations. Lawmakers estimate the soda tax will pull in roughly $224 million per year, and could help in paying down the state’s bills.

Drinking a Soda Photo via Shutterstock

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9 Reactions
  1. We, the liberals, will decide what you, the citizen, put in your mouth. We will tax like crazy those things that we, the liberals, believe that you should not have because as liberals, we know best. In taxing soda pop, our next offensive will be against pizza and McDonalds.

    Oh, whom are we kidding? It is not your health that we are concerned about. It is the fact that we have run this state into the ground financially and are looking for new revenue streams. We know that you have to eat. We’ve got you my friends.

  2. This law is being passed as a way to improve health, but the money is going to pay down debt that was incurred for any number of reasons. Even if they were to say it was for health care, they would take the money that would have been used for health care before the new tax and put that elsewhere. The net effect is more taxes and bigger government spending no matter how you slice it. And my guess is that this tax will unequally effect lower socioeconomic groups.

  3. Being an advocate for good health. I think that this can be a good thing for everyone. I think that this tax should also be applied to stuff that are more harmful to one’s health. I believe that there are many others.

  4. Soon to be former Il Taxpayer

    We will be moving out of this awful state soon enough.

  5. TAX,TAX,TAX. When will it end? Gouge some more out of Illinois residents. ALL supporters of this are very uninformed. I too am soon leaving this corrupted state.

  6. Another Democrat band aid that gouged the already overburdened taxpayers here?

  7. I’m leaving this state as soon as I can get my house sold. It never ends.

  8. This sounds like the same scam when they told us the lottery would pay for education.

  9. Fed up Business owner

    Once again the Illinois Democrat tax nazis are trying to make Illinois small businesses suffer a burden that cannot afford. This tax is just a band aid for failed decades of Democrat leadership in this state. How about a tax on stupid leberal proposals and failed government? That would raise enough revenue to dig this failed state out m of the hole. Our community has lost so many businesses that will never come back. Democrat answers are more taxes. Illinois has a mass exodus of people fleeing this state. Pretty soon you will only have the liberals left here to enjoy the complete demise of a once great state. There is no one else to blame but Madigan, Cullerton, Durbin and the corrupt city of Chicago leeches on all of Crook County. Shame on all of you. I for one am going east to Indiana where they know how to run a successful state. Common denominator in Illinois is Democrat greed and disfunction. Indiana does not suffer from failed ideology.