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Opponents Swarm County Hearing On Sugary Drink Tax

(CBS) -- It wasn't quite the Boston Tea Party but one of the largest crowds ever packed the Cook County board in protest of a proposed penny-an-ounce tax on sugary drinks.

One by one, opponents approached the lectern, united in anger over the proposed tax on soft drinks and some fruit juices.

Soured consumers say the county board will see a backlash from every day people if the tax is approved.

The tax would add 72 cents to a six-pack of soda and 68 cents to a 2-liter bottle.

County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says the county needs new revenue to fill a growing budget deficit, stave off hundreds of layoffs in public safety and prevent the further erosion of health and safety services provided by the county.

The tax would generate $74 million.

The Rev. Walter Turner says if you don't want to pay the tax, don't drink pop. He says he's glad he's cut it out of his life.

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