- Associated Press - Friday, July 28, 2017

CHICAGO (AP) - The Latest on the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging Cook County’s proposed soda tax (all times local):

6:20 p.m.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says the proposed tax on sweetened beverages sold in the Chicago area will go into effect Wednesday.

The tax was cleared for implementation Friday when a judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging the penny-per-ounce tax. Judge Daniel Kubasiak also dissolved a temporary restraining order.

Preckwinkle said county officials believed all along the ordinance was carefully drafted and met pertinent constitutional tests.

Illinois Retail Merchants Association president Rob Karr said his organization would consider its legal options, which include filing an appeal or an amended complaint.

In arguing against the tax, the retailers said that under the Illinois Constitution, similar objects should be taxed uniformly. Under the sweetened beverage tax, drinks in a bottle, or from a fountain machine, are taxable. But on-demand, custom-sweetened beverages, such as those mixed by a server aren’t subject to the tax.

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3:06 p.m.

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging a penny-per-ounce tax on sweetened beverages sold in the Chicago area, and dissolved a temporary restraining order that had delayed its implementation.

But it’s unclear when Cook County will start collecting the tax on a variety of sugary and artificially sweetened drinks.

It originally was to take effect July 1 but the Illinois Retail Merchants Association sued, arguing the tax is too vague. Cook County Circuit Judge Daniel Kubasiak ruled in favor of a county request to dismiss the lawsuit. Association president Rob Karr says he’s exploring legal options.

Cook County projected collecting about $67.5 million from the tax this year and more than $200 million for fiscal year 2018. Its delay resulted in layoff notices being sent to hundreds of county workers.

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2:47 p.m.

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging a penny-per-ounce tax on sweetened beverages sold in the Chicago area, and dissolved a temporary restraining order that had stopped it from being implemented.

But it’s unclear when Cook County will start collecting the tax.

It originally was to take effect July 1 but the Illinois Retail Merchants Association sued, arguing the tax is unconstitutional and too vague. Cook County Circuit Judge Daniel Kubasiak ruled in favor of a county request to dismiss the lawsuit.

Cook County projected collecting about $67.5 million in revenue from the tax this year and more than $200 million for fiscal year 2018. Its delay resulted in layoff notices being sent to hundreds of county workers.

The tax applies to a variety of sugary and artificially sweetened drinks.

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