Soda lovers and energy drink consumers may soon be paying extra for their sweetened beverages under a proposed tax in Cook County.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle presented her 2017 budget recommendations Thursday, including a “sweetened beverage tax” that would charge drinkers a penny per fluid ounce.
The proposed tax would apply both bottled and fountained beverages, including beverages such as carbonated soft drinks, fruit beverages that are not 100 percent fruit juice, sports drinks and energy drinks. Non-sweetened beverages like water and various kinds of milk and baby formula are not included.
Preckwinkle believes the tax will not only help close a massive $174 million budget gap but also fight the obesity epidemic.
The tax is expected to generate $74.6 million in the coming year.