Illinois "Soda Tax" Proposal - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Illinois "Soda Tax" Proposal

Posted: Updated: Feb 18, 2014 10:07 PM
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Imagine being taxed for a bottle of pop, by the ounce. That's what one Illinois lawmaker is proposing.

State Sen. Mattie Hunter, a Democrat out of Chicago, is sponsoring a bill which she says is intended to promote healthy living.

But not everyone thinks a new tax is the right way to go about it.

Andy Jessen, Moline, buys at least one bottle of pop everyday. He's angry about the proposal --

"The government is targeting people who drink these items and saying, 'what you're doing it wrong so give us more money.'"

Hunter cites studies that link excessive consumption of soft drinks to obesity as one of the reasons behind her proposal. She says revenue from the tax would go toward a variety of health services and education initiatives.

But local businesses that sell the drinks are worried about what the law would do to sales.

"Illinois certainly needs tax money but there's people who come in here and complain already," said True Value employee, Joe Hotle. True Value sells off-brand, craft sodas.

"It's a buck fifty for a bottle of pop. It's already kind of expensive for what it is." Hotle said that Sen. Hunter seems to have good intentions but it might hurt business.

The plan is already drawing criticism from manufacturers, retailers, and union workers who say taxing sodas would hurt the state's economy.