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'Pop Tax' Back In Court As Retailers Appeal

By  Tanveer Ali and Heather Cherone | August 1, 2017 5:00pm | Updated on August 1, 2017 5:21pm

 The tax of a penny per ounce on sweetened beverages is set to take effect Wednesday.
The tax of a penny per ounce on sweetened beverages is set to take effect Wednesday.
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CHICAGO — The Illinois Retailers Association has appealed a decision that upheld the Cook County "pop tax," which is set to go into effect Wednesday.

Tuesday afternoon, the association said it had filed a notice of appeal of Cook County judge Daniel Kubasiak's decision to dismiss the retailers' previous lawsuit seeking to block the tax.


The new filing before the Appellate Court of Illinois urges the court to "block implementation of the ordinance due to the lack of clarity in how to properly apply and administer the tax."

It asks the appeals court to send the case back to the lower court for another hearing.

The tax had been set to take effect July 1, but the start was delayed when a judge granted a temporary restraining order. However, the judge lifted the restraining order last week.

The tax adds a penny per ounce on sweetened beverages across Cook County, and is estimated to raise $200 million a year to fund county services including its health and criminal justice systems.

The tax will hike the price of a 2-liter bottle by 68 cents and a six-pack by 72 cents.

Last week, Kubasiak issued a 15-page decision allowing the tax to go forward.

Noting that taxes have proven to be an "irritant" since the days of the American Revolution, Kubasiak nevertheless said they were the best way to provide for the "common good," which he said is a "moving target."

Although he acknowledged that he was aware of the intense turmoil that his decision to block the tax caused, Kubasiak said he was "not moved by the public airing" of the red ink county officials found themselves mired in after he temporarily stopped the tax.

Here's the appeal: