CHICAGO — Cook County has ended its effort to grab $17 million from the Illinois Retail Merchants Association for its efforts to derail the controversial sweetened beverage tax.
Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s spokesman Frank Shuftan said Tuesday the decision not to pursue the case against the retailers was prompted by an appellate court decision not to halt collection of the tax as judges consider its merits.
The tax went into effect last week. 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.
A judge last month dismissed a retailer lawsuit that temporarily blocked the tax. In their appeal, retailers say they doubt Judge Daniel Kubasiak used the correct standards in granting Cook County’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.