US News As of July 1, 2015, citizens of Chicago are now subject to the city’s 9 percent “Amusement Tax”.

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Not content with making explicit attacks on Uber, AirBnB, and the “sharing economy” as a whole, Democrats have launched an even more egregious attack on something that rivals sex, alcohol, and food on Millennials’ “can’t survive without” lists: streaming entertainment.

As of July 1, 2015, citizens of Chicago who enjoy their Netflix, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Prime, Xbox Live, and/or PlayStation Network subscriptions are now subject to the city’s 9 percent “Amusement Tax” for the privilege. Further, should you decide to digitally rent a movie or videogame via these services, the 9 percent tax would be applied for every rental. In other words, Chicago now taxes its citizens 9 percent on their $99 annual Amazon Prime subscription because of its instant video/music service, plus 9 percent for each $3.99 digital rental through the same service. The same applies for rentals and music services offered directly from Microsoft and Sony. Fans of Sony’s PlayStation Network ecosystem are hit hardest: a 9 percent tax each on their PlayStation Plus subscription, PlayStation Music, PlayStation Now (videogame streaming), and Sony’s recently introduced PlayStation Vue live-TV service. Throw in other rental/subscription services such as Hulu, Gamefly, Google Play, HBO Go, iTunes, and Vudu, and you get a sense of the sheer breadth of this tax on Chicago consumers’ digital lives.

It’s not just individual consumers who are targeted by Chicago Democrats. Small businesses that use cloud-based services such as Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps for Business, or Amazon Web Services are also subject to a new tax for such use. Pay for access to Monster.com’s database of résumés? Taxable. Pay for access to potential hires’ consumer-credit scores? Taxable. Are you a law firm and subscribe to Westlaw or LexisNexis? Taxable.

Read more here. (National Review)
 

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