Illinois May Tax Soda

An Illinois lawmaker wants to tax soft drinks as part of an effort to promote healthy living.

The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises Newspapers reports the legislation is being sponsored by Sen. Mattie Hunter, a Chicago Democrat.

Her proposal would charge a penny-per-ounce surcharge on sugary drinks that are sold in sealed containers.

Money generated from the levy would be used to pay for a variety of health services and educational efforts.

But Hunter’s plan is already drawing criticism from the Illinois Coalition Against Beverage Taxes. The group is an alliance of manufacturers, retailers and union workers. They say taxing sodas would hurt the economy and cost jobs.

Other states have a similar tax, but previous efforts haven’t been approved in Illinois.

  • MaureenABA

    This proposal would, indeed, “hurt the economy and cost jobs.” It would also increase consumers’ grocery bills. And, for what? This new tax won’t change health behaviors or reduce obesity by any measurable amount. That’s due, in part, to the fact that obesity doesn’t result from a single source of calories. Rather, every type of calorie we take in counts, as does offsetting our intake with physical activity. Also, other factors come into play when it comes to weight gain and obesity, including genetics, age, stress, medicines and more. Therefore, it’s overly simplistic and misleading to
    suggest such a tax will solve what is a highly complex public health challenge
    – which can be more meaningfully addressed through education that embraces a
    more comprehensive approach. – Maureen Beach, American Beverage Association