* From an article entitled “Emanuel Hints at City Beverage Tax Relief”…
While Cook County commissioners and Board President Toni Preckwinkle battle over the controversial sweetened beverage tax, city taxpayers may be seeing some relief on that front.
In an interview for “Chicago Tonight,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel refused to take sides on the county tax debate, but indicated he would take action at the city level.
“I’m going to focus on my budget, and in my budget, there’s going to be some tax reduction in that area,” Emanuel said.
The mayor will release the city’s 2018 budget on Wednesday, Oct. 18. He was not specific about how much taxes would be reduced, or which tax would go down. Not including alcoholic drinks, there are three retail beverage oriented taxes: a 9 percent syrup tax paid by the distributor, a 3 percent soda tax paid by the consumer, and a 5 cent bottled water tax.
* However, one of the mayor’s spokesmen said to me this morning that reducing the city’s beverage taxes (some of which I didn’t even know existed) was “Not what [the mayor] meant and not happening.”
“We’re looking at tax relief,” the spokesman said, “but not the specific area of taxes on sugary/sweetened beverages.” It was, the spokesman said, a “reasonable misunderstanding, but a misunderstanding all the same.”