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Cook County: Soda tax no longer runs afoul of food stamp rules

Cook County: Soda tax no longer runs afoul of food stamp rules

Cook County officials say they've solved a problem with the new sweetened beverage tax that put roughly $87 million in funding used to run the federal food stamp program in Illinois at risk of being withheld.

Purchases made with federal food stamp benefits are exempt from the penny-per-ounce tax on sweetened beverages, but the county's regulation gave stores that hadn't been able to program point-of-sale systems not to tax those purchases the option of charging the tax and then issuing a refund.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Services, which oversees the food stamp program called SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, warned state...

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