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Log In / Register | Sep 23, 2017

Hundreds Rally in Chicago to Protest New Sky-High Tax on Sweet Drinks

Hundreds gathered in downtown Chicago to protest Cook County's tax on sweetened beverages, which is scheduled to go into effect on Saturday, July 1. The tax is one penny per ounce, which may not sound like much, but amounts to a 68¢ price hike on a 2-liter soft-drink bottle and 72¢ for a six-pack.

The tax is expected to raise $224 million a year for Cook County, which the county needs to keep its books out of the red.

…Abdul Shabazz, food service manager of Jackpot Mini Mart in Roseland, said 30 percent of his mart's sales come from sugary beverages, and 2-liter bottles of pop are the most popular items.

"We are bracing for this negative impact," Shabazz said, adding that many of his customers are on a fixed income and don't have the ability to travel out of Cook County [to avoid the new tax]. — Alisa Hauser & Heather Cherone, DNA Info

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