Cook County “pop tax” goes in effect today; here’s what you need to know

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File

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As if Cook County wasn’t taxing residents enough, the sweetened beverage tax will be going into effect today, adding a tax of one penny per ounce to the cost of your favorite sweet drinks.

While one cent may seem harmless, the tax will add a total of 68 cents to the cost of a 2-liter of soda and a whopping 72 cents extra on a six-pack of sweetened beverages. As for diet Coke drinkers who are thinking they lucked out, you aren’t getting off the hook that easy considering the tax is being added to diet beverages as well, according to DNAinfo.

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While it has been dubbed the “pop tax,” this fee will effect the cost of hundreds of beverages beyond soft drinks. The tax, which was narrowly passed in November 2016, is projected to raise $200 million a year for Cook County. This money is required, according to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, as a means of keeping Cook County books in the clear.

With 5.2 million residents, Cook County has become the largest municipality in the nation to impose a tax on sugary drinks, according to DNAinfo.

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While most drinks in the county will be taxed, there are a few saving graces that will not be effected by the new fee including  beverages containing 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice, infant formula, liquids sold as meal replacements and products that contain at least 50 percent milk or a milk substitute.

While the American Beverage Association lobbied aggressively against passing the tax, the Cook County Board decided to go forward with it, leaving residents taxed at higher rates than before.

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