Soda Prices in Illinois Could Soon Rise Faster Than Bubbles
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and the Illinois State Senate are poised to set-up the worst possible concept for a Smokey & The Bandit remake ever. Yeah, even worse than Smokey & The Bandit 3, where SPOILER ALERT Smokey WAS the Bandit *mind not blown*.
The proposed Senate Bill 9, which has bipartisan support and is at a hearing as of 3pm January 24th, would add a tax to sugary drinks, specifically sodas, of one cent per ounce. So the 12 ounce can you got from your office breakroom's soda machine wouldn't cost you 50 cents anymore, it would cost you 62 cents. Need a 12 pack for the big game coming up? That's an additional $1.44. The goal is to ease state debt, and with an additional proposal to funnel revenue generated from the tax into health and wellness programs, according to the State Journal Registrar out of Springfield.
Unfortunately as it stands now, the bill doesn't say anything about revenue going to health and wellness programs. If it did, that would be one thing. It's putting the money to good use. But just as a revenue stream? Sure it's estimated to add $560 million to the budget, but on a $7.8 billion deficit, that's barely over 7%. It's a dent, but enough to matter?
If it's just the money you want, there's a very Willie Nelson-esque answer three states west. Colorado pulled in $150 million in just tax revenue on it and their population is only 42% of ours. Adjusted for population size, assuming a similar tax rate, that puts it at $358 million per year. Give or take. Not advocating one way or the other, just doing the math, crunching some numbers.
If it passes, I'd imagine Quincians (or Quincyians, I can't get a definitive answer as to which is correct) making quite a few runs across the river for some of that cheap soda. Maybe a Discount Soda Shop next to the discount tobacco places. And that brings us back to: