Orland Park mayor backs 'very vocal' calls for repeal of Cook County beverage tax
Opposition to Cook County's beverage tax now includes a repeal effort undertaken in an attempt to ease the strain on local restaurants and stores.
A vote to repeal the controversial tax has been delayed until Oct. 10.
South Cook News asked Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau for his take on the situation.
Q: What is your position on the beverage tax and the call for repeal?
A: As you are aware, I testified in favor of repealing the tax at the last County Board meeting. Additionally, several papers have run my op-ed against the tax. I am against the sweetened beverage tax and for the repeal.
Q: How do you think the tax is affecting your village/city now? And in the future?
A: Our community is suffering from several adverse effects that will continue into the future. We are a border town with our southern border being in Will County and our western border is the Cook/Will county border.
1. Our residents routinely cross the county line to buy sweetened beverages, groceries etc, which has a huge impact on our village
2. Residents from other towns now go to restaurants and stores in Will County to avoid the tax.
3. Larger businesses (like Jewel) are moving employees to Will County due to the decrease in sales.
4. Smaller businesses face significant costs in trying to comply with this law.
Orland Park is the third largest sales tax generator in Cook County. Behind only Chicago and Schaumburg. This is having a huge negative impact on us and the County.
Q: How vocal have residents in your community been about the tax?
A: Very vocal against the tax.
Q: Do you think there is a chance the tax will be repealed due to opposition?
A: I hope so.