Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will unveil her 2017 budget proposal Thursday, and it’s expected to include a tax on sugary beverages.
The proposed sugary beverage tax of one cent per ounce would help plug the county’s $174 million budget shortfall in 2017. The tax proposal translates into a price increase of 68 cents per 2-liter bottle of pop, for example.
The tax, opposed by the American Beverage Association, would generate $74.6 million in estimated revenue in the first year, according to reporting from the Chicago Tribune.
Preckwinkle’s budget also reportedly calls for laying off 300 workers, eliminating 297 job vacancies and reducing pay hikes among non-union employees.
The Cook County Board president will deliver her budget address at 11 a.m. today. The speech can be watched live here.
Meanwhile, two Cook County commissioners are seeking to impose a 50-cent tax on Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing trips. The proposed tax from Commissioners Richard Boykin (1st District) and Robert Steele (2nd District) would come on top of the city of Chicago’s tax of 52 cents per ride-hailing trip.
Uber and Lyft oppose the proposed Cook County tax.
UPDATE 1: Preckwinkle unveiled a penny-an-ounce tax on soda and other sugary drinks in her budget address Thursday as a means to prevent deep cuts to the public health system, sheriff’s office and state’s attorney’s office.
“I could put forth a proposal that would significantly impair our criminal justice system over the next three years and undermine the progress we are making in public health,” Preckwinkle said while introducing the proposal. “It would mean at least 1,000 fewer positions in our criminal justice system, including prosecutors, public defenders, sheriff’s deputies and critical support staff, programs and services.
“Instead of focusing on becoming more fair and effective, we would be focusing on just getting by,” she added. “This budget, instead, calls not only for dedication to criminal justice reform but a significant investment on public safety.”