CHICAGO — It's going to cost a lot more to buy sugary drinks in Cook County.
The penny-per-ounce tax went into effect overnight. However, the future of the tax is uncertain after the Illinois Retail Merchants Association on Tuesday appealed a judge's dismissal of a lawsuit to bar the tax.
Under the tax, drinks in a bottle, or from a fountain machine, are taxable. But on-demand, custom-sweetened beverages, such as those mixed by a server, aren't subject to the tax.
Here's how the tax affects you
What will be taxed:
- Regular and diet sodas
- Ready to drink sweetened coffees and teas
- Sports and energy drinks
- Any non-100% fruit or vegetable juice
What won't be taxed:
- 100% fruit juice
- Unsweetened sparkling waters
- Juice concentrates and drink mixes like Crystal Light
- Custom-sweetened drinks
- Milk and infant formula
- Drinks for medical use
Abid Moinuddin owns Chicken Planet in Chicago's Loop. Soda at the restaurant was $1 a glass with free refills. Now he says he doesn't know what to charge.
Moinuddin reports he pays $75 for a box of soda mix. Starting Wednesday, he'll pay $35 more in taxes. He says refills won't be free.