5 things you need to know about Cook County’s new soda tax

CHICAGO — Cook County’s new tax on fountain drinks, bottled and canned beverages takes effect this Saturday, July 1.

Here are some facts on the tax and how it may affect you:

1. How we got here

Cook County approved the tax in November, promoting it as a way to reduce soda consumption and improve public health, but it will also bring in an estimated $200 million a year.

2. How much we love soda

Cook County consumers drink a billion liters of soda every year, including 530 million liters in Chicago alone.

3. How much will it cost?

The tax costs a penny per ounce, so a two-liter soda bottle will incur a 67-cent tax.

4. What if I don’t drink soda?

The tax doesn’t just apply to soda – any non-alcoholic beverage can be taxed, including syrups for soda fountains, low-calorie drinks, fruit juices that aren’t 100% fruit juice, iced tea and lemonade, and sports and energy drinks.

5. Not everyone is affected

Counties that will not collect the new tax include Lake, McHenry, Kane, DuPage and Will. The tax also does not apply to those who receive benefits from the federal food stamp program.