Cook County isn’t buying soda tax health concerns

Cook County isn’t buying soda tax health concerns

A We Ask America poll shows 87.5 percent of respondents think Cook County commissioners support the sweetened beverage tax for reasons other than health.

New polling suggests that Cook County residents don’t believe what pro-soda tax ads are saying about the health motivation behind the county’s new sweetened beverage tax.

A poll conducted Sept. 7-8 by We Ask America sought to study the efficacy of $5 million worth of ads paid for by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg is an advocate of Cook County’s penny-per-ounce sweetened beverage tax and has promised to spend “whatever it takes” to support the re-election of politicians who back the tax, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

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The We Ask America poll asked nearly 1,100 registered voters in Cook County what they thought about the ads. Eighty-three percent said they’d seen the ads, but when asked if health motivated the commissioners to vote for the sweetened beverage tax, 87.5 percent answered that they thought the commissioners voted for the tax “for other reasons,” according to the Sun-Times.

The Sun-Times noted the poll also found nearly 85 percent of respondents support a repeal of the sweetened beverage tax, with more than 83 percent of Chicagoans and more than 86 percent of suburban Cook residents favoring repeal.

The results of this survey are consistent with an earlier poll commissioned by the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association that showed 87 percent of Cook County residents oppose the sweetened beverage tax.

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