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Chicago considers soft drink tax

May 2, 2012 at 9:58 AM

CHICAGO, May 2 (UPI) -- A Chicago plan to fight obesity by taxing sugary beverages has met with opposition from retailers and praise from health advocates, hearing testimony indicates.

On the table is a plan to add a beverage tax ranging from 15-to-30 cents a container to a penny an ounce on soda pop, energy drinks and other sugary beverages, The Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday.

Mike Ciacco of the union that represents beverage delivery and warehouse employees, told the city council's health committee Chicago would see a 12 percent reduction in consumption for every 10 percent increase in drink taxes.

"However well-intentioned a soda tax might be, it would unfairly target middle class workers," Ciaccio said.

Owner Dan Raskin of Manny's Cafeteria and Delicatessen said raising taxes on pop could easily lead to "depressed wages, fewer restaurants opening and less hiring."

But the city's health commissioner said that taxing at the right level could reduce consumption and help reduce the prevalence of obesity.

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