Pritzker afraid to push for repeal of Cook County soda tax, GOP says
Gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker continues to support Cook County's highly contentious sweetened beverage tax despite enormous opposition from the public, the Illinois Republican Party said in a recent press release.
"Voters are fighting back against the unpopular Cook County soda tax, but once again, J.B. Pritzker chose (House Speaker Michael) Madigan's Chicago Machine over the people of Illinois,” Illinois Republican Party spokesman Aaron DeGroot said in the statement. “Pritzker opposes legislation to repeal the soda tax – that's exactly why the Cook County Democrats endorsed him. Madigan and (Cook County Board President Toni) Preckwinkle need Pritzker to protect their power, and Pritzker has proven he will defend every tax hike they push.”
In a statement provided to Capitol Fax on the tax and House Bill 4083, legislation that would repeal it, Pritzker said that he does not support the soda tax because of its regressive nature, and that he would work to pass a progressive income tax as governor. But Pritzker also said he does not support repeal because he believes local governments should have the ability to make decisions for their jurisdictions.
The GOP speculated that Pritzker opposes the bill because of the endorsement he received from the Cook County Democratic Party or because his running mate, Rep. Juliana Stratton (D-Chicago) is a protege of Preckwinkle, who championed the tax.