Proposed bill in IL would hike taxes on sugary drinks

Proposed bill in IL would hike taxes on sugary drinks

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (KFVS) - For every ounce of sugary beverage you buy, the state of Illinois wants you to fork over one cent.

Some in southern Illinois think this will help Illinoisans in the effort stay healthy, but others believe it can do more harm than good.

If approved, the bill would make a 12 pack of 12 ounce cans of soda cost a full $1.44 more than it is now.

Although the tax is technically only applicable to bottled or sealed sugary beverages, it also applies to the sugar substances places like coffee shops use every day. This includes the syrups used to sweeten coffee, and soda in a tap.

Botski's in downtown Carterville just opened up in 2016, and while they say the change would be burdensome, others think it's needed.

"Little by little, nickle and dime-ing the hard working man, and the business owner, its going to make it even harder on us," said Joseph Labotte of Botski's Cafe and Coffee.

"We raised taxes on cigarettes because cigarettes are bad for people and it was good for the state... I think the same thing is true for sugary drinks," said Mary Ellen Lamb, resident.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, sugary drinks are the leading source of sugar for most Americans. Diets high in sugar are heavily correlated with obesity, and disease such as type two diabetes.

The money would be deposited directly into Illinois' general fund, possible bridging part of the gap for a state deficit that exceeds 5 billion dollars as of January 2017.

The law would go into effect as early as May 2017.

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