Peoria Public Radio Staff
Wed February 19, 2014
Sugary drink in IL could get sin-taxed
Sin taxes have a dual purpose: deterring people from what's regarded as undesirable behavior, and generating extra tax money.
In this case, lawmakers want to charge a penny per ounce of sugar-sweetened drinks like soda.
They say it would generate 600 million dollars in revenue. Half the money would go to the state's healthcare program for the poor.
The other half would be invested in health education initiatives.
One of the knocks on soda taxes is that they disproportionately target the poor. But Senator Mattie Hunter, a Democrat from Chicago, says low-income individuals pay a big price without it.
"What hurts poor people? ...The extra deaths from diabetes and heart disease in poor communities. The lack of safe places to exercise and healthy places to eat in poor communities." A number of food, alcohol, and retail groups oppose the tax. They say it would hurt multiple sectors of the economy, resulting in job loss.