Streaming Music Now More Expensive For Chicagoans

If you live in Chicago and you’re paying for a subscription to any music, TV, or movie streaming service, well, now you’ll have to pay a little more for that subscription — nine percent more, to be exact. As The Chicago Tribune reports, Chicago’s Finance Department just voted on Wednesday to extend the city’s amusement tax and personal property tax to cover products streamed to consumers. This means that the 9 percent amusement tax — which has until now mostly been applied to things like concert and event tickets — will now apply to any online streaming or on-demand rental service. The new “cloud tax” will take effect in September, and companies like Spotify and Netflix will have to start charging their customers for the additional cost. The city expects this ruling to bring in about $12 million in taxes each year. Read an official statement from mayoral spokeswoman Elizabeth Langsdorf quoted in The Chicago Tribune below:

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. 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.