In the latest salvo over Cook County’s controversial sweetened beverage tax, retailers trotted out numbers to back up their demand to repeal the tax.

Joseph Butera, owner of the supermarket chain bearing his family’s name, said ever since the soft drink tax went into effect, beverage sales have dropped.

“At our store in Norridge, for example, our beverage sales are down 47 percent,” he said.

Illinois Food Retailers Association President Brian Jordan said stores like Leamington Foods in the Lawndale neighborhood have seen customers leave to shop elsewhere, because of the tax.

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