"Soda tax" shot down by Illinois House committee

SPRINGFIELD - A proposed tax on sweetened drinks that supporters say would help fight obesity has been rejected by an Illinois House committee.

The so-called "soda tax" would have added a tax of one cent per ounce to any sweetened beverage.  For example, that would equal to an extra $2.88 on a case of soda.  The House Revenue and Finance Committee voted against the tax 7-2 Tuesday.

Representative Robyn Gabel told legislators the tax would generate an estimated $600 million in annual revenue and it would give people an incentive to select a healthier drink.  However Mark Denzler, a lobbyist for the Illinois Manufacturer's Association, says the tax could lead to job losses because Illinois residents may cross state lines to buy drinks and other groceries.

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