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QSRs fight a proposed Chicago beverage tax

Quick-service restaurants in Chicago are joining with local retailers and unions to kill a proposed penny-per-ounce tax on the fountain syrups used to make sugared soft drinks. The charge would also be levied on sugary canned and bottled drinks, including juices and teas.

The Chicago Coalition Against Beverage Taxes contends that the tax proposal introduced by Alderman George Cardenas for health purposes is misguided.

“We all understand the critical importance of helping children and families make informed choices about their diet and exercise,” said Rob Karr, president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and honorary co-chairman of the Chicago Coalition Against Beverage Taxes. “The only way we will truly make a meaningful impact in this area is by educating families on how to lead a balanced lifestyle by developing partnerships that pursue real solutions. Burdening struggling businesses and working-class employees with additional taxes that kill jobs will do little to address the issue.”

In addition to restaurants, the coalition includes families, convenience stores, community organizations, chambers of commerce and unions.

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