By Mike Esterl

Chicago's Cook County approved a penny-per-ounce tax on soda and other sweetened beverages Thursday, hoping to raise more than $200 million a year to help bridge a budget gap.

It is the seventh U.S. city or county to pass such a measure -- and the fifth this week. Cook County is by far the largest, spanning an estimated 5.2 million residents.

The taxes are a growing threat to beverage industry giants like Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc. and Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. after they spent tens of millions of dollars in recent years successfully opposing them in dozens of cities and states.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle cast the deciding vote in favor of the special levy Thursday aftera vote by commissioners ended in a deadlock.

The tax is slated to go into effect July 1, 2017.

Write to Mike Esterl at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 10, 2016 17:13 ET (22:13 GMT)

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