Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is considering a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages to help bridge the county’s projected deficit for FY17, county staffers and stakeholders say. The tax is one of several revenue proposals President Preckwinkle has floated with commissioners to help address a projected $173.4 million 2017 budget shortfall. County stakeholders tell The Daily Line that the per-unit tax could be anywhere from half a penny to a full penny per ounce. One industry source briefed by the President’s office reports Preckwinkle’s team is assuming a ¾ of a cent per ounce would yield close to $100 million annually.
Preckwinkle spokesperson Frank Shuftan notes nothing is set in stone. “We are looking at expense cuts through program reductions and position cuts as well as the potential for possible revenue enhancements,” he said. Shuftan and other county sources The Daily Line spoke to kept mum on other revenue proposals.