by Alley Marotti, Grace Wong and Greg Trotter
August 3, 2017
Cook County’s long-delayed tax on sweetened beverages took effect Wednesday amid confusion, leaving retailers grumbling and shoppers plotting soda runs to neighboring counties.
The penny-per-ounce tax applies to both sugar- and artificially sweetened drinks. That goes beyond just pop — bottled and canned beverages, diet soda, ready-to-drink sweetened coffees and teas, sports and energy drinks, and juice products that aren’t 100 percent juice also are taxed.
The tax, originally set to begin July 1, already has shoppers feeling inconvenienced and operators recovering from weeks of uncertainty due to a legal battle that delayed its implementation.