Beverage Tax

ALERT: Beverage Tax Being Considered in Springfield

Illinois legislators are at it again. Legislators in Springfield are considering a new beverage tax on common grocery items like soft drinks, juice drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, lemonade, and teas.

A penny per ounce tax would increase the cost of a standard two-liter beverage by up to 80%!

This tax will hurt small business, destroy jobs and raise costs for working families. And beverage taxes are not an effective way to address public health priorities.

Partnerships with the beverage industry to increase consumer awareness have proven far more effective in improving public health without destroying jobs, hurting small business or increasing costs on working families.

Beverage tax will impact families and residents of Illinois

A beverage tax will impact the hardworking families and residents of Illinois.

  • 90,000 Jobs at Stake: Imposing additional taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages will drive down sales, in turn negatively impacting bottlers, their employees, agricultural suppliers, distributors and retailers. With more than 90,000 Illinois residents directly and indirectly employed by the beverage industry, the vast beverage industry could face layoffs, if the beverage tax is signed into law.

More Effective Partnerships to Address Public Health

The beverage industry is creating more effective partnerships to address public health.

  • Fewer Calories in Schools: The beverage industry has dramatically cut calories from beverages in schools. Calories from all beverages shipped to all schools nationwide have been slashed by almost 90% and full-calorie soft drinks have been removed from schools.
  • Transforming the Beverage Landscape:  America’s leading beverage companies publicly committed to a goal of reducing beverage calories consumed per person by 20 percent by 2025 through their Balance Calories Initiative.
  • Launching Mixify: The beverage industry understands the need to balance our diets and physical activity, which is why the industry launched Mixify, a comprehensive educational campaign to give Americans the resources they need to lead healthy lifestyles.

Beverage tax is an ineffective way to address obesity

A beverage tax is an ineffective way to address this nation’s obesity problem.

  • No Noticeable Impact on BMI: A study conducted by an economist at the Yale School of Public Health found “…any obesity-related benefit of decreased soda consumption that comes from a soda tax is, on average, more than offset by increased caloric consumption from other beverages.”
  • Taxes don’t make people healthier: “Sin taxes”— selective taxes on goods deemed to be unhealthy or poor choices—don’t make people healthier. These regressive taxes aren’t impacting health. Education and access to better food make a difference. (“Regressive Effects: Causes and Consequences of Selective Consumption Taxation” Mercatus Center, George Mason University, 2015)
  • Obesity Rates on the Rise where Beverage Taxes Passed: While an excise tax would drive down product sales, it would not produce the desired effect of reducing obesity. West Virginia and Arkansas are two states with an excise tax on soft drinks, yet both states rank among the 10 states with the highest obesity rates in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, since Chicago increased beverage taxes in 1991, obesity rates have continued to rise.
  • Food is the No. 1 source of added sugars, not sugar-sweetened beverages: According to data from the CDC, sugar-sweetened beverages are not the No. 1 source of added sugars for children and teens, refuting the common assertion by some researchers and activists. The data also show calories from added sugars from soda are down 39 percent since 2000.

Take Action

Join us and dozens of statewide organizations in support of the beverage industry in Illinois. Click on the icons to choose how to contact your legislator: by email, Twitter of Facebook. Please enter your full address to ensure your email goes to the correct elected official.