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Pritzker, Kennedy, Daiber, Hardiman oppose pop tax - No candidate supports a forced state repeal

Tuesday, Aug 22, 2017

* I asked Democratic candidates for governor this question…

Should Cook County repeal its pop tax? Failing that, should the General Assembly pass a bill to repeal the tax? House Bill 4083 is bipartisan legislation to do just that and was introduced this week.

Their deadline was noon today, but they all complied well before their deadline for a change. Some candidates ignored the second question, but some didn’t answer either one. Here are the responses in the order they were received.

* Tio Hardiman…

“Cook County should definitely repeal its pop tax. The pop tax was not a good idea in the first place. Too many consumers of pop and sugary drinks are complaining and there are many stories of people going to Indiana and other neighboring states to purchase pops.”

* Bob Daiber:

Yes! I encourage Cook County to repeal the pop tax because it is excessive for lower and middle class residents.

At recent public meetings, I have heard outward opposition to this tax. Also, the pop tax will begin to impact Cook County businesses as some residents shop elsewhere to buy soda and choose to buy other items as well. The end result will be a down turn in total sales tax receipts. Please see the attached receipts from two Walgreens stores for the identical purchase of a twelve pack of Pepsi. The pop tax added $1.44 to the purchase.

Since I support home rule of local government, I do not believe the General Assembly should intervene and pass HB 4083 because it preempts home rule.

* Chris Kennedy…

The Cook County sweetened beverage tax is another form of a regressive tax on lower income families. Cook County should not balance its budget on the backs of families who can afford it the least. I strongly oppose it and believe Cook County should immediately repeal it. We cannot clean up our finances with a patchwork of regressive fixes like a sweetened beverage tax. Illinois needs a wholesale reform of our tax code, starting with ending our reliance on a broken property tax system to fund local schools.

* Ameya Pawar…

“I was a proponent of raising cigarette taxes and going after menthol brand cigarettes because tobacco companies target and market menthol cigarettes to minority communities. These tax increases do indeed change consumer behavior and lead to better public health outcomes. But I also believe there must be more aggressive action against tobacco companies and their lobbies at the federal and state level, including the elimination of subsidies to tobacco farmers. Similarly, I know the soda tax at the county level will likely reduce consumption over time and in the near term raise enough revenue to protect critical county services. But like tobacco, we must go after the Sugar Lobby, Coca Cola, and Big Agra as they have pushed false data over the last half century on the impacts of sugar consumption to heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. As governor, I will take on the sugar and tobacco industries who profit off disease and death. And finally, if we are serious about reducing the consumption of sugary drinks, then clean drinking water must be a top priority for the state. This means, addressing lead in water systems, banning fracking to prevent the contamination of underground water supplies, and joining the US Climate Alliance. As governor, I will do just that.”

Way to not answer the question, man.

* Scott Drury…

The purported need and continuous call for targeted regressive taxes at the State and local levels are symptomatic of the long-term fiscal mismanagement of Illinois and various local governments. In order for Illinois to prosper, it must get its fiscal house in order. This is not done simply by talking about adding this tax or repealing that tax. Illinois must confront its outrageous debt problem in a fair and constitutional manner. By reducing its debt load, Illinois can reduce its multi-billion dollar annual debt obligation and reinvest that money into public education, healthcare, job training, local government and neighborhoods. As we have experienced, Illinois’ failure to address its debt crisis will leave our State in a perpetual chase for its tail, while Illinois residents suffer.

Another non-response.

* Sen. Daniel Biss…

“We have a tax code that was written by billionaires and political insiders for their own benefit. Because the system doesn’t work for middle class Illinoisans, local governments are placed in a no-win situation to generate revenue.

“Fixing this broken system starts with an honest conversation about how tax decisions get made and why, for decades, we have balanced our budgets on the backs of the middle class. I hope that as members of the House consider House Bill 4083, they also take the opportunity to adopt a more holistic and progressive revenue approach—one that makes corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share.”

Another dodge.

* JB Pritzker…

“Bruce Rauner is a failed leader who put our state through a 736-day budget crisis, forcing counties, townships and cities across the state to find ways to make ends meet. Even now, Rauner continues his ill-conceived crisis making, threatening school closings across Illinois. The damage is done, and people across the state are attempting to clean up the mess Rauner’s made.

“This governor has done nothing to make the tax system in Illinois more fair for the middle class and those striving to get there. I strongly support a progressive income tax and will work to pass one as governor. Progressive taxes are fairer than regressive taxes and that’s why I do not support the soda tax.

“However, given the damage the governor has done, local governments should be given deference to make decisions over their own jurisdictions to deal with the crisis this governor has created. Unlike Bruce Rauner, I’ll work to make sure the state lives up to its obligations so that counties, townships and cities are not put in such a challenging position.”

Your thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

34 Comments
  1. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 11:41 am:

    Wow. Pawar hit every liberal tslking point in the books.


  2. - Salvo - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 11:41 am:

    I don’t see in his response where JB says he opposes the pop tax.


  3. - Todd Stroger Was A Victim - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 11:42 am:

    Pawar has said that the problem is that we aren’t taxed enough, so no surprise from that neophyte.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 11:43 am:

    ===Should Cook County repeal its pop tax? Failing that, should the General Assembly pass a bill to repeal the tax? House Bill 4083 is bipartisan legislation to do just that and was introduced this week?===

    (Sigh)

    All these responses just flat out lack.

    Poor swings, all misses.

    Here’s the answer.

    “Cook County delved into a tax on sugary drinks that backfires on the levels that can only be measured by the deflection of why they are doing it is to be thoughtful to health. I’d like to see it repealed.

    To the state and HB4083, this is not the issue or the rationale for the state to inject itself in overriding local control. I disagree with the tax, but this tax isn’t the reason to intercede in local control either.”

    Even all that could be shorter…


  5. - Salvo - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 11:43 am:

    Sorry, reread and missed his opposing comment


  6. - Lobo - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 11:45 am:

    “As governor, I will take on the sugar and tobacco industries who profit off disease and death.”

    7-up profits off disease and death? And Yoohoo?

    Ease up there partner.


  7. - W Flag - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 11:49 am:

    Pawar appears to support the soda tax. He feels taxes are an appropriate way to regulate public behavior much like Frances Willard the Prohibitionist.


  8. - Say What? - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 11:50 am:

    Pritzker’s non-responsive statement is clearly the worst.


  9. - don the legend - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 11:50 am:

    I support the repeal of the soda pop tax.
    I oppose HB4083.

    Don’t say boo hoo when boo will do.


  10. - PJ - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 11:53 am:

    The problem is that it’s meh public policy, but terrible publicity. Frankly, I don’t see how it’s any different than high cigarette taxes. It just seems to have caught fire as an issue. I’m actually sort of glad that not all of them are banging the drum of repeal, because that would be a pretty transparent play for votes. I doubt any of them really think it’s that bad as policy.


  11. - A guy - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 11:59 am:

    This is such slow pitch 16″ softball with an arc…and every last one of them missed it.

    Duh. The results are in. Nearly everyone HATES this tax. Are you all Daft? Hit it. Hit it hard. Hate it too. In fact, Hate it more than everyone else.

    Whether you’re drinking sugary pop with Chivas Regal, Johnnie Walker Blue, Grey Goose, (an utter sin in my humble opinion) or Cutty or VO or Jack Daniels (less of a sin, but still a sin) OR you’re just knocking down your Sugaries Neat, this lousy tax affects everyone from the Country Club, to the VFW Hall to the Corner Pub. And worst of all…the kitchen table.

    It’s easy. Just hate the tax and be with the vast majority who hate it too.

    They all blew it.


  12. - LilLebowskiUrbanAchiever - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 12:01 pm:

    So I’m reading…

    Kennedy is against it. Pritzker is for it.


  13. - LakeEffect - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 12:06 pm:

    Drury is the only candidate who touches on the unfortunate need for taxes like this on the local and state level: our governments are drowning in debt. A Democratic governor who will work to address that is the one that will beat Rauner in the collar counties.


  14. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 12:06 pm:

    Most of them do not seem to want to cross Toni Preckwinkle for whatever reason. And Pawar seems to think using a Howitzer to hit things like diet drinks and juice drinks is OK so long as “Big Sugar” gets hit too. As a guy said above, it’s an 80% issue guys, just get on the bandwagon and ride it.


  15. - Sue - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 12:08 pm:

    Of course the JB won’t cross a powerful Dem who is part of the machine working to make him Governor


  16. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 12:13 pm:

    ==So I’m reading…==

    What are you reading? ‘Cause Pritzky flat out says he’s against it.


  17. - Mr B. - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 12:15 pm:

    I support sugar tax. Yes it is a regressive tax. Just like alcohol and tobacco. The drinks cause health problems. Great way to raise revenue.


  18. - LilLebowskiUrbanAchiever - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 12:21 pm:

    Aresenal…

    1) Nothing in that statement is said flatly. JB Pritzker is taking the the Pat Quinn approach to messaging. Quantity over quality.

    2) “given the damage the governor has done, local governments should be given deference to make decisions over their own jurisdictions”

    He said he’s against it before saying he’s for it.


  19. - Mrs Robinson - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 12:30 pm:

    Kennedy wins this round


  20. - SKI - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 12:31 pm:

    Bob Daiber’s response for the win.


  21. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 12:31 pm:

    ===Nothing in that statement is said flatly===

    “Progressive taxes are fairer than regressive taxes and that’s why I do not support the soda tax.”


  22. - LilLebowskiUrbanAchiever - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 12:41 pm:

    I know better than to argue with Rich. But why add the last paragraph, which directly contradicts the previous one?


  23. - anon2 - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 12:41 pm:

    === He feels taxes are an appropriate way to regulate public behavior much like Frances Willard the Prohibitionist.===

    Much like Alexander Hamilton, who proposed the first federal tax, which was on alcohol, in part to promote temperance.


  24. - AmRam - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 12:55 pm:

    I wholeheartedly agree with Dan Biss’ responses and feel it deserves more attention than “another non-response.” It’s an incredibly valid and important statement that this is a bigger issue than one tax ordinance. Our pennies are going toward surgeries beverages, bottles of water, plastic bags, cigarettes, downtown parking structures, alcohol, and on and on. These pennies are filling cracks in a foundation when what we need is a new foundation.
    Am I the only person in Chicago who feels like our local governments are being funded by the spare change you find in couch cushions?!
    This isn’t about one annoying tax; it’s about an ineffective tax structure that needs to be addressed sooner than later. Because when we finally start paying what it really costs to run our government, we’re going to be paying a lot more in income and sales tax, on top of these penny patchworks.


  25. - Curl of the Burl - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 1:16 pm:

    That does it: if Ameya Pawar becomes Governor then I will be forced to march into 207 Statehouse and proceed to smoke a stogie and chug a two liter bottle of sugary soda.


  26. - Moody's Blues - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 1:25 pm:

    So we have one smartie who’s listening to voters complain about all the debts driving taxes (Drury) and a bunch of other players afraid to say that Cook County sold this on a lie: “We’re taxing your Diet Coke because you shouldn’t drink sugar.” The lie is why this has become a big issue.

    Then there’s Pritzker. If he ever has to call 911 about emergencies at his mansions, imagine the poor dispatcher who has to hear seven minutes of “Bruce Rauner eats small children!!!” before Pritzker remembers to say, “We have burglars in the mansion with silverware and a fire in the mansion without toilets. Can you hurry?”


  27. - regnaD kciN - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 1:30 pm:

    I agree with David Brunori’s assessment of pop/soda taxes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/taxanalysts/2014/06/11/a-coke-and-a-smile-and-a-tax/amp/


  28. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 1:30 pm:

    ===This isn’t about one annoying tax===

    Says you. And the question I asked was about this tax. He couldn’t answer my question.


  29. - Amalia - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 1:31 pm:

    Pritzker, you break it, you own it. Photos of you with Toni, Toni, Toni and Berrios (bury us) and a sugary drink tax receipt.


  30. - Echo The Bunnyman - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 1:37 pm:

    I don’t know how to make this happen because he doesn’t have money. Bob Daiber consistently has good ideas. Moderate in all the information he is asked about. More of him please.


  31. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 1:47 pm:

    Maybe try the old lawyer deposition trick next time, Rich? Put a “Answer yes or no” in the question and do like your Questions of the Day and then ask them to explain. Only Hardiman and Daiber led by succinctly answering the question presented to them.


  32. - morningstar - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 1:49 pm:

    Stunning display of the commenters’ inability to read. Did we all stay up too late last night?


  33. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 2:59 pm:

    Someday I hope someone will just ask Biss to prove up his line that “will he tax code was written by millionaires and billionaires for their own benefit.” line. I get it. It sounds great. We all hate rich people. They are evil and all that. But where does one draw the line between good campaign rhetoric and complete fabrications?


  34. - Responsa - Tuesday, Aug 22, 17 @ 4:00 pm:

    JB’s “I do not support the soda tax” was buried in his polemic against the governor who everyone knows had nothing whatsoever to do with orchestrating the unpopular Cook County sweetened beverage tax. JB does not really benefit, therefore, from his position on the tax. Of all the bad tippy- toe meh responses to Rich’s easy question JB’s was the strangest.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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