Judge dismisses suit against delayed Chicago area soda tax

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

CHICAGO (AP) — 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.