Chicago and many suburban areas - board committee voted 15-2 to repeal the tax, which charged individuals a penny per ounce of pop. The vote came just more than two months after the tax took effect August 2.
Store owners, drink companies and bottlers all battled the tax. "Today's events also underscore the fact that the beverage industry, with its virtually unlimited financial resources, will stop at nothing to halt or overturn beverage taxes that threaten its profits and its ability to market sugar-sweetened drinks to the communities it claims to care about".
Grace said Cook County's repeal "should serve as a harsh wake-up call" to elected officials in Philadelphia.
Despite warnings from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle of steep budget cuts across the county if her pop tax was repealed, the Cook County Board Committee rejected her sweetened beverage tax 15-1 on Tuesday, Oct. 10, after a almost four-hour session. The ordinance is set for a vote on Tuesday, Oct. 10.
Had the tax been carried out, it was anticipated that it could raise an estimate of over $500 million per year in revenue for the state, and significantly cut costs for health issues like obesity, according to a Harvard study shared by the Tribune. "Beverage taxes are really a money grab that has nothing to do with public health".
After Wednesday's vote, Preckwinkle indicated she wouldn't be taking the lead in adjusting the county's finances.
County Board President Toni Preckwinkle had defended the tax, saying it was necessary to fund essential county services, but has said she will work with the board to balance the budget without the estimated $200 million in annual revenue. They have until November 30 to approve a budget.