Illinois Beverage Association featured at National Government Affairs Conference
IBA Representatives Discuss the Success of ‘Can The Tax’ Initiative on National Panel

June 2019

CHICAGO, IL – Beverage company representatives and hundreds of state beverage associations from across the country gathered for a two-day National Government Affairs Conference (NGAC) in Chicago to share insights on key industry issues.

Rob Nash, Executive Director of Illinois Beverage Association (IBA), Sam Toia, Executive Director of Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA) and Donnie Anderson, Executive Director of Illinois Committee of Blind Vendors (ICBV) were featured on a panel discussion focused on the coalition and effort to repeal the 2017 Cook County Beverage Tax. American Beverage Association’s Bill McManus moderated the conversation about the power of working together to tackle shared industry obstacles.

In Illinois, Cook County became the first local unit of government in the country to repeal an existing beverage tax. In 2017, just four months after going into effect, Cook County’s beverage tax was repealed by the Cook County Board of Commissioners by a 15-2 vote due to strong public demand. The campaign known as ‘Can The Tax’ was led by the Illinois Beverage Association. This coalition proved that partnerships with the beverage industry to increase consumer awareness have proven to be effective in improving public health without destroying jobs, hurting small business or increasing costs on working families.

“Working families and businesses of Cook County rejected this beverage tax and the ‘Can the Tax’ Coalition listened, showed up and fought for them,” said IBA Executive Director Rob Nash. “The success of this repeal is because of all of our constituents that spoke up.”

The Can the Tax coalition was an initiative of more than a dozen organizations in Cook County, united to educate Cook County consumers, businesses and news media about the negative impact of the Cook County beverage tax on our local consumers and businesses that resulted in the repeal of the beverage tax and ensured Cook County residents have access to affordable consumer products and avoided the loss of jobs by working families.