Finance Committee Votes To Close Loophole On Alcohol, Bottled Water Tax

Craig Dellimore
March 13, 2020 - 10:22 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A City Council Committee has given the preliminary green light to slapping a tax on online sales of alcohol and bottled water, just when many people are buying more of it.

City Comptroller Reshma Soni said it’s just a matter of closing a loophole. Chicago would impose a five-cent a bottle sale on bottled water and liquor purchased online - the same tax as bottles bought at local stores.

"In recent years, of course, the online market has surged considerably for purchasing, and we want to ensure that we have language in place," Soni said. "The change that is being made to the ordinance is to ensure that any consumption that is happening in Chicago, within the City of Chicago has the tax imposed." 

West Side Alderman Chris Talliaferro questioned the timing.

"Folks are now buying a lot of water and a lot of supplies, because of what this country and other countries are experiencing with COVID-19. Are you concerned about the optics of the city raising taxes?" Ald. Talliaferro said. "I think the optics of things looks bad when we are increasing taxes on bottled water that is being shipped in, especially in light of the COVID-19 virus."

The Finance Committee approved it, and it goes to the full City Council next week. There’s also a proposed nine-percent amusement tax on tour boats.