Illinois Lawmakers Shoot Down So-Called 'soda tax'

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois House committee has rejected a proposed tax on sweetened drinks that supporters say would help fight obesity.

The House Revenue and Finance Committee defeated the so-called “soda tax” 2-7 Tuesday. It would have added a tax of 1 cent per ounce to any sweetened beverage.

Rep. Robyn Gabel is an Evanston Democrat. The Chicago Sun-Times reports Gabel told legislators the tax would give people an incentive to choose a healthier drink. It also would generate an estimated $600 million in annual revenue.

Mark Denzler is a lobbyist for the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. He says the tax _ which would equal $2.88 on a case of soda _ could lead to job losses because Illinois residents may cross state lines to buy drinks and other groceries.

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