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Illinois: Efforts to repeal soda tax continue

There continue to be new developments in the seemingly never-ending fight over Illinois’ newly enacted soda tax, which just took effect on Aug. 2, 2017. The last time we visited this tax, the court had dismissed a lawsuit seeking to have the tax struck down, and the plaintiffs, including the Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA) and several food markets, had filed their notice of appeal.

Since then, Cook County Board of Commissioners President Toni Preckwinkle spearheaded a county lawsuit against those same plaintiffs for $17 million in damages, on the grounds that their legal challenges, which delayed implementation of the tax by eight months, caused the county to lose revenue. On Aug. 8, 2017, she withdrew the suit, and released the following statement: “Now that the Appellate Court has rejected the emergency motion that would again prevent us from collecting the sweetened beverage tax, we believe we should move forward cooperatively and in good faith with the County’s retail industry.”

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