Thursday, August 03, 2017

Cook County Board President demands $17 million from pop tax foes

Crain's Chicago Business reports:
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is sending a strong message to anyone who wants to mess with her pop tax: Don't.

In an action a judge said could have "a chilling effect" on government and citizens' rights, county attorneys are seeking $17 million in damages from the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, the group that, with a couple of co-plaintiffs, won a temporary restraining order delaying the levy by about a month.

Preckwinkle spokesman Frank Shuftan says seeking damages is appropriate: "Actions have consequences."

He added in an email: "The financial damage to the county as a result of this delay is projected at more than $20 million. . . .The county has every right to be made whole as a result of the judge's ruling upholding the ordinance and removing the TRO."

But Tanya Triche Dawood, general counsel for IRMA, said the group is not backing off and will pursue an appeal to reinstate the ban on the levy, which imposes a penny-an-ounce tax on soda pop and most other sweetened drinks.

"When the retail community is treated the way it has been by the county, we're not going to sit back," Dawood said. "We're going to exercise our rights."
Greedy government demands your money or else!