"Soda Tax" Defeated At Statehouse

May 27, 2014

Credit flickr/DCJohn

An Illinois House committee has rejected a proposed tax on sweetened drinks that supporters say would help fight obesity.  

The House Revenue and Finance Committee defeated the so-called ``soda tax'' Tuesday. It would have added a tax of 1 cent per ounce to any sweetened beverage.  

Rep. Robyn Gabel is an Evanston Democrat. The Chicago Sun-Times reports Gabel told legislators the tax would give people an incentive to choose a healthier drink. It also would generate an estimated $600 million in annual revenue.  

Mark Denzler is a lobbyist for the Illinois Manufacturers' Association. He says the tax _ which would equal $2.88 on a case of soda _ could lead to job losses because Illinois residents may cross state lines to buy drinks and other groceries.