Updates on the Cook County Penny Per Ounce Sugar Sweetened Beverage Tax:
From IAMC – I wanted to give a brief update to the proposed Penny Per Ounce Sugar Sweetened Beverage Tax in Cook County. Monday morning Craig Hesch, Don Anderson and I along with over 100 others had the opportunity to testify in front of the Cook County Commissioners. We were a mix of people testifying to make sure our voices are heard. Some, like us, spoke in opposition to the tax and some in favor, but the point is, the Commissioners are listening!
This tax has the potential to open the door to a tax on other products. And a penny per ounce is just the beginning, the only place a tax like this goes is up! We have the opportunity to stop this tax, but we have to take action now! Call the commissioner where you live. Call the commissioner where your business is located. Call the commissioner where you do business. Let them know the financial burden and the repercussions of this tax. They need to know who this tax will truly affect.
Be Vocal! Be Heard!
Linda Furlano, Vice President IAMC
Audio Clip from WBBM at hearings:
Article from Chicago Tribune:
From Vending Market Watch:
NAMA Helps Mobilize Illinois Operators Against Cook County Beverage Tax OCT 31, 2016
Illinois’ Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle proposed a penny-per-ounce tax on sweetened beverages as part of a move to close a 2017 budget shortfall. However, this additional tax on an already heavily taxed county drew the attention of NAMA, who rallied local operators to make the impact this tax would have on their businesses heard.
“It’s another sad day on the legislation front, when we are confronted with taxes of this sort, whether it be on the state or local level,” Sheree Edwards, regional legislative director for NAMA told VendingMarketWatch. “Our latest fight is in Cook County, it is a beverage tax that is being proposed by the Cook County Commission President Toni Preckwinkle. She is attempting to use this tax to close a $174 Million gap in the county budget.” The tax would be combined with layoffs and position eliminations within the county.
Legislators might believe another tax is a reasonable solution, but will have a very real impact on the local vending business owners – which is where NAMA has taken the fight.
“The power in combating and fighting back on issues like this tends to be with the voice of the industry, the people who are on the ground and who are doing the work. Vending operators, distributors, suppliers – we corral our entire membership base because every level can be affected by taxes like this,” said Edwards. “Our strongest method to responding to one of these events is advocacy.”
NAMA members have been testifying at local hearings for the past week about the added operational costs and lower sales this added tax would cause their businesses. Some even see it leading to employees being laid off within their businesses. Edwards also mentioned an electronic campaign on NAMAVoice.org where Illinois operators could contact their representatives, explain the tax’s impact and ask them to vote NO.
The final hearing regarding the proposed tax is set for November 1, 2016. At that point the Commission will consider all the comments. Edwards predicts that they will make a decision as to whether to proceed by the end of the year. “An affirmed date [of a decision or implementation of the tax] is something of a moving target, but they do have to wait until all the hearings are concluded. The last one is tomorrow, so we will have a better picture of what the next steps will be from the county’s end after that,” finished Edwards.
Listen to Edwards comments at www.vendingmarketwatch.com/12274797 .