The Cook County soda tax is going the way of 1917 national predecessor, repealed! The effort first got its real momentum a few weeks ago and then a budget deal was reached last week that cut the tax from the county budget. Tuesday, the County Finance Committee endorsed the repeal effort by a vote of 15 -1 causing Board President Toni Preckwinkle to concede defeat on the issue. One day later, the Board approved repeal of the sugary beverage tax effective with the December 1 start of the new county budget year on a 15-2 vote. As damaging as the tax was to retailers and consumers in Cook County, it was equally short-lived with implementation having been delayed until August 2 by a court challenge from the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, a suit that is currently on appeal. The Board decision effectively moots that litigation and clears the way for soda sales to rebound in Cook County. That turn of events in Cook County was food for thought back in Philadelphia where Teamsters Local 830 secretary-treasurer Daniel Grace used the successful repeal of the Cook County tax to urge Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney to repeal the more expensive 1.5 cents per ounce tax in the City of Brotherly Love. It remains to be seen if his urging gains any traction, but coming on the heels of local soda taxes being defeated by the voters in Santa Fe and banned outright last week by the Michigan Senate (the GOP-controlled House is expected to finalize it this week and send it to republican Governor Rick Snyder), the tide may indeed be turning! We will keep an eye on it . . .