Cook County retailers cheer soda tax repeal: ‘This was a nightmare’ – Chicago Tribune

Daniel Stein estimates Cook County’s sweetened beverage tax has cost his vending machine company about $75,000 so far, a figure that doesn’t even include lost sales.

The Dec. 1 repeal of the penny-per-ounce tax on sugar and artificially sweetened beverages likely will cost him more before it’s all over. He’ll again have to send technicians to his 850 or so vending machines in Cook County to adjust the price of products. But Stein feels only happiness and relief that the tax that’s consumed his life for months will soon go away.

“I don’t want to sound judgy but this whole thing has been kind of unfortunate. I’m just glad it’s almost over. … Closure is good,” said Stein, owner of Northbrook-based Mark Vend.

Wednesday’s repeal vote was a resounding victory for the beverage industry, powered by giant corporations like the Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo, that spent millions fighting the unpopular tax. But Cook County retailers and restaurants, many of whom joined forces with Big Soda in opposition, also celebrated the win after seeing sales dwindle and customers stray across county lines since the tax was implemented Aug. 2.

Cook County retailers cheer soda tax repeal: ‘This was a nightmare’ – Chicago Tribune

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