Cook County Judge Halted July 1 Drinks Tax Rollout

Posted On: 7/4/2017

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TAGS: vending, soda vending machine, National Automatic Merchandising Association, Daniel Kubasiak, Cook County sweetened beverages, vending operators, Cook County Sweetened Beverage Tax Ordinance

CHICAGO -- The National Automatic Merchandising Association has informed its members that Cook County Judge Daniel Kubasiak issued a ruling on June 30 that temporarily halts the imposition of the county's 1¢-per-fl.oz. tax on sweetened beverages. The tax had been scheduled to go into effect on July 1.

The court's injunction will remain in effect until July 12. Until then, vending operators and distributors doing business in nation's second-largest county will not be required to comply with the new Cook County Sweetened Beverage Tax Ordinance.

The Illinois Retail Merchants Association and a number of grocers sued to block the tax. "NAMA and our Illinois member operators have been actively involved in opposing this tax since its inception and proposal last year," NAMA said.

The coalition's lawsuit claims that the new levy violates the state's constitution because sweetened beverages would not be taxed uniformly under its provisions. The 1¢-per-fl.oz. tax is levied on these beverages if they're sold in containers, but not if they're served to patrons in foodservice establishments.

The Chicago Tribune reported on June 30 that the group requested a delay in the imposition of the tax because, if it went into effect and were later rolled back, retailers would be burdened with the very complex task of making refunds to consumers who had paid it.

NAMA promises to continue monitoring developments, and to share information as soon as it becomes available.