[News] Chicago's new 9% Entertainment Tax

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#1
Do we have any Chicagoland residents here? Can any of you confirm any of this?
[Entertainment providers shall collect and remit to Chicago a 9% tax on:]
a) charges paid for the privilege of watching electronically delivered television shows, movies or videos are subject to the amusement tax, if the shows, movies or videos are delivered to a patron (i.e., customer) in the City (see paragraph 13 below);
b) charges paid for the privilege of listening to electronically delivered music are subject to the amusement tax, if the music is delivered to a customer in the City;
c) and charges paid for the privilege of participating in games, on-line or otherwise, are subject to the amusement tax if the games are delivered to a customer in the City.
The article I read (which I have linked here) talks about how this will force the bills of all Chicago Netflix customers to grow an extra 9% in size, but I'm more concerned with c) up there and how it applies to users of WoW, LoL, W101, and every Internet-connected game console out there. Also Pandora, Spotify, iTunes, and Google Play.

You can read the official text of the ruling here.

--Patrick
 
#2
I will be very interested to have this confirmed/denied/over-ruled/nuked from orbit before my (eventual) planned move to Chicago
 
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#3
I would think the FTC would have something to say about who can tax what. Or other levels of government at the least. But all of that is so specific to your jurisdiction I have no f'n clue what that might fall under. Good luck!
 
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#4
That is a frightening level of big brothering. So Chicago is going to snoop on every electronic transaction in the city so they can get their 9% tax on a free service...
 
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#4
It sounds like a streaming tax which is lame. I view any general new taxes as ridiculous anyway. It's like giving a drunk a drink, IMO. Now, if they wanted to get rid of the income tax and sales tax on food and create a luxury/consumption tax then I might get behind that.

Evading taxes is federal offense right? This doesn't bode well for the internet users of Chicago. I hope other cities don't follow suit.
 
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#5
It's not limited to entertainment delivered electronically, either.
Many cities have what is usually referred to as a "Jock Tax" to cover sporting events and such. This ruling just extends that sort of taxing power to the virtual realm and tacks on any entertainment delivered electronically where the consumer is a resident of Chicago.

--Patrick
 
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#8
To be fair to the UK, though, all their television stations were completely free and that tax was what paid for programming. They could access all channels without paying any other fee than the licence fee.
 
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#9
I'm a california-based internet media company, Chicago issues this law and decrees I need to collect taxes for any customers I'm servicing in their city. I say "Nope. Screw you." What authority do they have to enforce this over state lines?
 
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#10
I'm a california-based internet media company, Chicago issues this law and decrees I need to collect taxes for any customers I'm servicing in their city. I say "Nope. Screw you." What authority do they have to enforce this over state lines?
That same that many states have with demanding Amazon charge sales tax: they are losing revenue because Amazon doesn't (or didn't) charge for tax, making it cheaper to buy stuff there than in a store. So now states are telling Amazon they can't set up distribution centers within their borders unless they get their sales tax. I know we got them to do it here in Ohio because they wanted to build an R&D center here.
 
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#11
I'm a california-based internet media company, Chicago issues this law and decrees I need to collect taxes for any customers I'm servicing in their city. I say "Nope. Screw you." What authority do they have to enforce this over state lines?
I assume this is what people are watching the courts for. Right now the city can only come after residents for non-payment (due to their power over residents). It is unclear what will happen when a situation arises such as the one you describe.

--Patrick
 
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