CHICAGO — Cook County officials warn that a 10 percent budget cut is possible if a judge doesn’t allow a sweetened beverage tax to take effect by August.

The county is counting on raising $67.5 million with the tax through Nov. 30.

Circuit Judge Daniel Kubasiak last week imposed a temporary restraining order that’s preventing the penny-per-ounce tax from being levied. The tax was to take effect last Saturday. Kubasiak set a hearing on the preliminary injunction for July 12.

The Illinois Retail Merchants Association and several grocers asserted in a lawsuit that the tax is vague and unconstitutional.

Budget director Tanya Anthony told county elected officials in a Monday letter that recommended budget cuts “may include position reductions and non-personnel reductions.”

A spokesman for county board President Toni Preckwinkle says the temporary restraining order left the county in “a serious financial situation.


Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com