retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Chicago Tribune reports that the Illinois Retail Merchants Association has appealed a Cook County Circuit judge's decision to dismiss a lawsuit challenging a penny-per-ounce beverage tax that was supposed to go into effect on July 1, but has been delayed by litigation.

The story says that the retailer group "sued the county, alleging the tax violates a clause in the state constitution requiring uniform taxation of similar products ... The tax applies to both sugar- and artificially sweetened drinks. Drinks in bottles, or from fountain machines, are taxable. But on-demand, custom-sweetened beverages, such as those mixed by a server or barista, aren't subject to the tax."

A judge dismissed that suit last week, but the retailers are trying to get that decision reversed by going to the 1st District Appellate Court.
KC's View:
I don't particularly mind soda taxes if they can have an impact on obesity levels, but I think there is a real problem when they are not assessed fairly and equally.

Plus, the story points out that Cook County "has been expecting the tax to bring in $67.5 million this year and $200.6 million in 2018." Sounds to me like this is more about collecting badly needed revenue, not taking a nuanced approach to public health policy.