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Sugary Drink Tax in Chicago?

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The price of a Big Gulp could get bigger.

A Chicago alderman this week proposed a tax on soda and energy drinks sold in city limits to discourage the consumption of sugary drinks and promote residents' health.

A 64-ounce Big Gulp, for example, could cost 64 cents more under the proposal by City Council Health Committee chairman Ald. George Cardenas (12th). He said Wednesday before the council he wants to hold hearings on the effects of sugary beverages on obesity and obtain testimony from medical experts.

The proposed tax could range from 15 to 30 cents a "pop" to an extra penny per ounce, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Cardenas said Wednesday the tax could reduce obesity and high health care costs. It also could create revenue for the city.

"I agree with that," said resident Justin Edwards. "I see it all the time, people coming out of here with so much drink in their hands. It's like, 'Wow, how can you even drink all that.'"

"I think everyone's going to drink it anyway," said resident James Gaertner. "I don't think the tax would really matter."

Critics say the tax is less about people and more about money, but Cardenas said it could curb obesity rates and is worth a look as a result.

There could be a vote on the tax this spring.

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