Chicago Is Adding an Extra 9% Tax to Streaming Services


Streaming services have another hurdle to face in terms of customers adoption.

Chicago is now tacking on an extra 9 percent “electronic amusement tax” to streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Netflix.

The city’s amusement tax covers purchases at book stores, record stores, etc.  Now Chicago is looking to capitalize on that tax even though more customers are moving to digital purchases.

Netflix is already saying they’re planning to pass the extra 9 percent tax on to consumers.


Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more: @nine_u

Photo from Flickr by Marissa used with the Creative Commons License.

4 Responses

  1. Musicservices4less

    Now this is getting interesting. When the government (local, state, federal) wants money, they start to regulate. When that starts, they create rules & regulations (Duh!). And when you don’t follow their rules & regs, they get pissed off. And when they get pissed off, they use the hammers available to them. The governments hammers are all different sizes. And they are slow to use them. But if you don’t respond to the smaller ones, they get bigger and bigger until you do respond. Of course, the last hammer is jail. Rarely used but even the threat is pretty good enforcement. Now jail is usually only reserved for people who are organizing others not to pay.

    So where might this lead? Did some one raise their hand and say “Those web sites, etc. not paying are usually illegal and based in foreign countries and/or constantly having new locations on individual computers, blah, blah, blah. So how are they going to enforce it?”

    1. By targeting the ISPs – Fuck safe harbor, its bullshit and everyone knows it. The wac-a-mole process doesn’t work in the nano second internet cloud. Just like the confederate flag is about history not racism. Right!
    2. Let’s see. The tech geniuses were able to invent/create the bit torrent monster, you mean to tell me that they have no idea how to tame it? Bullshit.
    3. The entire entertainment industry needs to start talking real about piracy and stop all the BS regarding how it might effect privacy rights and that there are those sites that also carry legit traffic so you can’t touch them.
    4. The general public is finally starting to be educated as to how piracy and “free” interact and their differences. Free or discounted access is fine if it is controlled. To say that you have to have unlimited free because of piracy is dealing with the symptom not the cause.
    5. The generation that has grown up with “everything should be free on the internet, especially something like music which is so technically easy to obtain, is starting to age and with maturity, they are realizing that it is a) illegal; b) not a right thing to do; and c) hurting a lot of people including artists, writers, performers and all those who work with them. Plus, it seems to appear that the generation after the free generation, does not hold to the same belief (entitlement?) that the “everything free on the internet” generation does.

    Sorry about the heavy rant but with the holidays I have time. Like most people I have a day job and yes, its in the music business.

  2. DavidB

    Just a request for clarification: when the headline says there will be an ‘extra’ 9% tax on streaming services, does this mean they will be paying more than other forms of ‘amusement’, or that they have not previously been paying the tax at all, but now they will be? I suspect it is the latter. If so, the word ‘extra’ is misleading. Regardless of whether or not an ‘amusement tax’ is a good idea, if there is one, it should apply equally to all forms of amusement.


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