Vending Operators Advocate For Industry At Cook County Sweetened Beverage Tax Hearing

Posted On: 1/16/2017

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TAGS: vending operators, Cook County sugar-sweetened beverage tax, soda tax, Craig Hesch, Linda Furlano, Illinois Automatic Merchandising Council, Donnie Anderson, Alex Munoz, Sheree Edwards

CHICAGO -- Several operators teamed up to represent the vending industry at a hearing last week regarding the sugar-sweetened beverage tax in Illinois's Cook County. The tax passed last November and is scheduled to go into effect July 1.

Advocating for the industry were Craig Hesch, AH Management (Rolling Meadows, IL); Linda Furlano of A.H. Management, treasurer and vice-president of the Illinois Automatic Merchandising Council; Donnie Anderson, DonnyBoy Vending (Bedford Park, IL), chairman the Illinois Committee of Blind Vendors; and Alex Munoz, Munoz Enterprise Inc. (Houston, TX).

The hearing, which included an open dialogue with nearly 75 representatives of restaurants, retailers, suppliers, bottlers and trade associations, was the first of two scheduled to review outstanding issues related to the tax. The second will take place on Jan. 27.

"We are asking for flexibility for the remittance of the tax, as well as a comprehensive review of the issues resulting in a tremendous burden for many businesses, including those in our industry," Hesch said.

National Automatic Merchandising Association regional legislative director Sheree Edwards thanked the industry activists for their diligence in representing the industry for more than a year, educating Cook County on the negative impact of the tax on the industry.

"This collaboration is key to ensuring our industry's voice is heard on the issue that could have a significant financial impact on our members," Edwards said.

vending, Cook County soda tax
TAKING A STAND: Representing the industry at hearing on Cook County sweetened beverage tax, from left, are Craig Hesch, Alex Munoz, Donny Anderson and Linda Furlano.