CHICAGO — Celebrants toasting the New Year with bottled water here will have to dig deeper into their pockets come Jan. 1. Beginning Tuesday, a new 5-cent surcharge will be applied to bottles of water sold in Chicago. The first-of-its-kind tax will add about 30% to the overall cost of a case of bottled water and is expected to bring in an estimated $10.5 million in revenues annually, according to a Chicago Tribune report. Proponents of the surcharge contend that it will encourage tap water consumption and cut down on plastic bottle waste. Industry groups claim that the tax will place a harmful burden on area retailers, since it will lead consumers to purchase bottled water in surrounding communities instead. The Illinois Retail Merchants Association, the Illinois Food Retailers Association, the American Beverage Association and the International Bottled Water Association will file a lawsuit in early January against the city seeking to have the tax invalidated.
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