Thursday, August 10, 2017

Pop tax lands Cook in hot water with the feds

Crain's Chicago Business reports:
Cook County's embattled soda pop tax now has a new opponent: the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The agency is threatening to withhold nearly $87 million in state funding unless the county immediately alters the illegal manner in which the penny-an-ounce levy has been implemented.

In letter to the state and a phone call to the county, the U.S. Department of Agriculture objected to how the tax is applied to purchases using food stamps, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

"The state must take immediate steps to address Cook County compliance in this area," detailing how the levy will be adjusted and confirming that no taxes will be collected in the interim. "If the response is inadequate, (the department) could suspend federal funding of state administrative expenses."

A letter dated yesterday from the Illinois Department of Human Services tells the county that $86.8 million a year is at stake.
Imagine that.