Preckwinkle Soda Tax repealed by Cook County Finance Committee

Preckwinkle Soda Tax repealed by Cook County Finance Committee

Cook County Board overwhelmingly repeals the Sweetened Beverage Tax

Cook County Commissioner Sean Morrison released the following statement today: After weeks of debate, the Cook County Board of Commissioners’ Finance Committee voted overwhelmingly today 15-1 to support Commissioner Morrison’s ordinance to repeal the Cook County Sweetened Beverage Tax. (Please note: The Finance Committee is a Committee of the Whole.)

“I am pleased with today’s outcome. I would like to thank my colleagues for working together so diligently and amicably to come to an agreement on such an important issue to our constituents and to Cook County,” stated Commissioner Morrison.

The agreement reached on the substitute amendment will allow for Cook County government to close out the final seven weeks of its fiscal year with the tax in place. This will then provide a clean slate for the Cook County Board to begin its 2018 Cook County Budget Process in the coming weeks.

County Commissioner Sean Morrison pictured as board votes to repeal Toni Preckwinkle's soda tax Oct. 10, 2017

County Commissioner Sean Morrison pictured as board votes to repeal Toni Preckwinkle’s soda tax Oct. 10, 2017

Commissioner Morrison also thanked the thousands of Cook County constituents, the hundreds of businesses, and the dozens of municipalities who contacted his office to express their concern and opposition to this tax. They represent, in his words, “the foundation of our great county.”

Commissioner Morrison added, “It has not been an easy task, but in the end, we have reached an agreement that addresses the concerns of our constituents and sets forth a goal to chart a new fiscal course for Cook County.”

Commissioner Morrison made it clear that he is firmly committed to working in a bipartisan and constructive manner with all of his board colleagues, President Preckwinkle and her administration to take the necessary steps to find the appropriate fiscal solutions to create a balanced and responsible 2018 Budget for Cook County.

Another vote by the board on the repeal ordinance will take place at the Cook County Board Meeting on Wednesday, October 11, which will be followed by the 2018 Cook County Budget Process begins on October 23 and typically lasts approximately four weeks.

Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer also released a statement:

Today, I voted with 15 of my colleagues on the Cook County Board of Commissioners to repeal the Soda Tax. The repeal was favored by over 80% of all Cook County residents. This overwhelming majority to repeal was shared by the bars, restaurants and constituents within the 10th district.

And while we can take today to acknowledge that the voice of Cook County residents was heard — tomorrow, we will roll up our sleeves and prepare to find areas to fill the budget gap. I am committed to working with my colleagues and President Preckwinkle to approach the 2018 budget line-by-line and find alternate ways to close the budget gap.

My ask of you is to join me over the coming weeks as I host town hall meetings throughout my district to hear your ideas and concerns. The first meeting will be at the Peterson Park Improvement Association meeting at 7pm on Wednesday, October 18 at Solomon Elementary School, 6206 N. Hamlin Ave.

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.  

Hanania also writes about Middle East issues for the Arab News, and The Arab Daily News criticizing government policies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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