Legal Challenge Filed Against Application Of Chicago's 'Amusement Tax' To Streaming Audio, Video Services
September 14, 2015 at 4:03 AM (PT)
A conservative legal group is challenging CHICAGO's tax on streaming media subscriptions.
The LIBERTY JUSTICE CENTER, through named plaintiffs MICHAEL LABELL, JARED LABELL, SILAS PEPPLE, NATALIE BEZEK, EMILY ROSE, and BRYANT JACKSON-GREEN, filed suit against the CITY OF CHICAGO and its Comptroller DAN WIDAWSKY in COOK COUNTY Circuit Court seeking a declaration that the extension of CHICAGO's 9% "amusement tax" to NETFLIX, SPOTIFY, XBOX LIVE, AMAZON PRIME, HULU, and other services exceeds the city Finance Department's authority, was never authorized by the City Council, and violates the Federal Internet Tax Freedom Act.
The tax was extended pursuant to a ruling by WIDAWSKY in JUNE that the term "amusement" would now cover "charges paid for the privilege to witness, view, or participate in amusements that are delivered electronically." The law previously covered live events and paid TV programming delivered by "wire, cable, fiber optics, laser, microwave, radio, satellite or similar means."
The suit seeks a declaration that the tax extension exceeds WIDAWSKY's authority and violates the Internet Tax Freedom Act, and an injunction against application of the tax, plus damages.