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CHICAGO — People who buy sweetened soft drinks in Cook County may soon have to pay more.

Board president Toni Preckwinkle proposed a penny-per-ounce tax on soda, lemonade, and sports drinks.

If the tax is approved, it would cost consumers about 72-cents more for a six pack of soda.

The proposed tax would help close a $174-million budget shortfall.

Cook County government could also see about 300 layoffs and the elimination of nearly 300 vacant jobs.

Business groups and the beverage industry say the additional tax will hurt businesses and kill jobs.