If you live in Chicago, then you better complete all your recent Netflix binges by the end of summer, because starting Sept. 1 Chicago will be applying a new tax to streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify.
The Chicago Tribune reported the tax would include an extra 9 percent tagged onto the monthly fees for both personal users and businesses in the area. The tax is expected to bring in an additional $12 million per year.
The added taxes can be attributed to the recent ruling by the city Finance Department that utilized their previous control of two taxing areas —the city amusement tax and the city personal property lease transaction tax — in order to gain taxing abilities of streamed items.
The city amusement tax formerly applied to tickets to events such as concerts or sporting events, but will be expanded with the new rulings.
Despite these changes, the city claims not to be gaining any more control than was previously held. The Chicago Tribune later noted:
“In an environment in which technologies and emerging industries evolve quickly, the City periodically issues rulings that clarify the application of existing laws to these technologies and industries,” mayoral spokeswoman Elizabeth Langsdorf said in a statement issued Wednesday. “These two rulings are consistent with the City’s current tax laws and are not an expansion of the laws.
“These ensure that city taxation is uniformly and fairly applied and that businesses are given clear guidance on the applicability of the City’s tax laws to their operations, and they clarify that the amusement tax and personal property lease tax apply to digital services.”
The tax doesn’t apply to music, movies or games that are purchased online on sites such as iTunes.
When it’s Tuesday night, nobody should be allowed to interfere with my scheduled Netflix date with Gossip Girl — especially the government.