In so many ways, it could be described as poetic justice, but the federal government has threatened to withhold as much as $87 million from Cook Country as a result of their imposition of a countrywide tax on sugary beverages. The rub comes from the fact that purchases made with food stamps are exempt from the tax and county officials advised retailers that they could tax the purchases and provide refunds as a way to work through out-of-date point of sale systems. That didn’t sit right with the Department of Agriculture, which warned Illinois that the refund system would be in violation of federal law and if the system were not corrected, the state’s SNAP funds would be withheld until such time as the county was in compliance – and, that no taxes could be collected then!