IBA: Sugary beverage tax is sour deal


ILLINOIS — A bill to tax sugary beverages is being proposed to help pass a balanced budget.

The Illinois Beverage Association says that tax alone won’t solve the state’s financial mess, but rather, hurt its industry. The IBA says the bill has the potential to hurt consumers and employees.

With more than 90,000 jobs in the industry, the IBA says, if the tax passes, it would have a ripple effect. Consumers will also see a big uptick in prices when buying these kinds of drinks.

The bill would tax beverages with five or more grams of sugar, like soda or some juices. It puts a penny per ounce on retailers.

Lawmakers say it has the potential to raise about $560 million for the state. However, not all business owners agree it will have a positive impact.

Supporters, like the American Heart Association say the tax is a “healthy revenue option.”

The bill is just one of several proposals the Senate filed last week. Another would increase income taxes which could generate $4.1 billion.

In November, a similar sugar beverage tax was passed in Cook County and takes effect in July. It also charges a penny per ounce on sugary beverages.

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