Lawmakers bring soda tax back to table - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Lawmakers bring soda tax back to table

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WSIL -- A bill placing a tax on sodas and other sugary drinks resurfaces in the Illinois legislature.

Senate Bill 00009, or the Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax Act, would place a penny-per-ounce tax on sodas and other sugary drinks sold in Illinois.

Claud Barger calls taxing soda by the ounce crazy.

"People drink soda everyday. It's an injustice. They shouldn't be able to do it and it should be illegal," said Barger.

Barger and other opponents of a bill in the Illinois Senate call the tax "unfair" to people who drink soda.

"I buy 20 packs of soda all the time to take to the house. You know, that's going to add up on me and it's going to add up on everybody," said Barger.

Those in favor of a tax on soda, like Richard Kelly of Carterville, say it would help people kick an unhealthy habit.

"To me, it's probably not the best thing for you to drink anyway, even though I like Dr. Pepper," said Kelly.

If it becomes law, the bill would place a penny-per-ounce tax on sodas and other sugary beverages, meaning it costs more to make drinks like these, which means more money out of your pocket.

Kelly says if it passes, people will have to adapt to the new tax.

"If that's what you want to drink, then you'll pay up for it, I guess," said Kelly.

Barger calls the tax bad for an already weakened Illinois economy.

"You're going to have everybody moving out of the state because they can't do their stuff here, and they're going to have to move just like they've done to almost every other industry in the state of Illinois. They're forcing them to move out," he said.

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