Dear JPA Members:

Next week, the Chicago City Council is set to review a proposed penny per ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, as the city struggles to find ways to address its $754 million budget gap. The proposed ordinance’s sponsor, Alderman George Cardenas, believes it could reduce sugary drink consumption by up to 24%. It is reported that 75% of the revenue will be directed to a new Wellness Fund, designed to improve physical and nutrition education programs at Chicago public schools.

According to the ordinance’s text, 100% fruit and vegetable juices will be exempt; however, drinks that contains more than 5 grams of caloric sweetener per 12 fluid ounces will be subject to the tax. This means that some juice drinks will be taxed if the proposal is approved. Additionally, the ordinance’s definition of caloric sweetener includes fruit juice concentrate.

JPA has contacted the Illinois Beverage Association (IBA) for insight on the ordinance’s passage and has been advised that the City Council’s Committee on Health and Environmental Protection will hold a hearing on Wednesday, September 9 to discuss the subject matter of the ordinance. Currently, the Mayor’s Office and most City Council members are neutral on the ordinance and IBA is confident that the robust coalition they assembled will effectively combat the proposal. However, considering that the State of Illinois has not passed a budget and the fact that the cash-strapped Chicago government just proposed a $500 million property tax increase, there is concern that City Council members will view a beverage tax as a less risky revenue generator.

JPA will continue to monitor the issue next week and encourages members in the Chicago area to reach out to Lauren Whalley at IBA, if you are interested in providing testimony at Wednesday’s hearing.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Best regards,

JPA Staff
Juice Products Association
529 14th St NW, Suite 750
Washington. DC 20045
(202) 591-2438

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Juice Products Association
529 14th St. NW, Suite 750
Washington, DC 20045

Contact us

Tel: 202-591-2468

Juice Products Association
529 14th Street, NW, Suite 1280, Washington, DC 20045