Illinois lawmakers shoot down so-called 'soda tax'

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois House committee has rejected a proposed tax on sweetened drinks that supporters say would help fight obesity.

The House Revenue and Finance Committee defeated the so-called "soda tax" 2-7 Tuesday. It would have added a tax of 1 cent per ounce to any sweetened beverage.

Rep. Robyn Gabel is an Evanston Democrat. The Chicago Sun-Times reports (http://bit.ly/1oqjeNt ) Gabel told legislators the tax would give people an incentive to choose a healthier drink. It also would generate an estimated $600 million in annual revenue.

Mark Denzler is a lobbyist for the Illinois Manufacturers' Association. He says the tax — which would equal $2.88 on a case of soda — could lead to job losses because Illinois residents may cross state lines to buy drinks and other groceries.

___

Information from: Chicago Sun-Times, http://www.suntimes.com/index

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.