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Group files legal challenge to block Cook County beverage tax

CHICAGO -- Another legal challenge has just been filed against the Cook County beverage tax.

The Illinois Retail Merchants Association filed an appeal to an earlier ruling, which deemed the tax constitutional.

The appeal comes as no surprise. The Illinois Retail Merchants Association said it was considering its options after the judge dismissed its lawsuit last week. But this latest legal maneuver comes too late to stop the tax as stores are preparing to start charging the penny-per-ounce tax at midnight.

It is expected to bring in about $200 million in annual revenue for the county.

A judge blocked the tax earlier this month but lifted the temporary restraining order earlier this week.

Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle said the county lost $17 million in tax revenue during that time.