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Morning Spin: 10 key numbers in Cook County soda tax repeal debate

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Welcome to Clout Street: Morning Spin, our weekday feature to catch you up with what's going on in government and politics from Chicago to Springfield. Subscribe here.


Opponents of Cook County's controversial soda pop tax say they will introduce their proposal to repeal it at Wednesday’s board meeting.

Board President Toni Preckwinkle says she expects the plan to be sent to a committee, pushing off a repeal vote to October and leaving a high-dollar ad war over the tax raging for at least another month.

But a vote to repeal it Wednesday is possible if enough commissioners don't want to wait. Here are 10 key numbers to keep in mind:

*8-8: That’s the tally from the November 2016 meeting where the County Board approved the penny-per-ounce soda pop tax. Preckwinkle broke the tie.

*1: Number of commissioners absent when the soda tax vote was taken. (There are 17 county commissioners.)

*9: How many commissioners it will take to suspend the rules Wednesday and hold an immediate vote on the pop tax repeal measure.

*9: That’s also the number of commissioners needed to vote for a repeal, should it clear the initial hurdle.

*11 vs. 14: We’re getting down the road a piece here, but if the repeal were to pass and Preckwinkle were to veto the measure, it would take either 11 or 14 commissioners to override, depending on how county rules and state law get interpreted.

*$5 million: How much former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is spending on TV ads defending the tax as a good public health option.

*$200 million: How much money Preckwinkle expects the soda pop tax to bring in over a full year.

*$2.88: How much more you’re paying in tax for a case of Coke or Pepsi cans.

*68 cents: How much more you’re paying in tax for a 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke or Mountain Dew.

*6: How many weeks the soda pop tax has been in effect.

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