Illinois Senate eyes cent-per-ounce tax on soda

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by Associated Press

KMOV.com

Posted on February 18, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 18 at 6:21 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- An Illinois lawmaker wants to tax soft drinks as part of an effort to promote healthy living.

The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises Newspapers reports the legislation is being sponsored by Sen. Mattie Hunter, a Chicago Democrat.

Her proposal would charge a penny-per-ounce surcharge on sugary drinks that are sold in sealed containers.

Money generated from the levy would be used to pay for a variety of health services and educational efforts.

But Hunter’s plan is already drawing criticism from the Illinois Coalition Against Beverage Taxes. The group is an alliance of manufacturers, retailers and union workers. They say taxing sodas would hurt the economy and cost the state jobs.

Other states have a similar tax, but previous efforts haven’t been approved in Illinois.

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