Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius

Tech News

City of Chicago sued for taxing cloud use by residents

Is Chicago leading the way by leveraging taxes on locals for cloud computing and streaming services like Netflix? Is it legal?

cloud computing

cloud computing

Cloud services being taxed in Chicago

Starting back in July, Chicago residents were chagrined to discover that their streaming services, such as Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon, were going to cost them an additional nine percent, thanks to a cloud services tax levied by the city.

bar
Chicago lawmakers ruled that any paid television, video, or music service streamed through the internet, as well as any cloud search services, would be subject to the new tax. Permanent downloads won’t be taxed, but any “rental,” streamed, or subscription service will be.

Add nine percent to your bill, no biggie

Many companies, like Netflix, will automatically tag the nine percent fee onto your monthly bill. Others, however, will leave it up to their customers to report and file taxes for their streaming subscriptions. All of this will lead to higher monthly bills for users, and a big headache when it comes time to file taxes.

Unsurprisingly, disgruntled citizens have banded together to object to the new tax. Late last week, a nonprofit representing a group of concerned Windy City residents filed a suit against the city.

Was the tax passed illegally?

The prosecution will argue that the tax was passed illegally, as the city alderman were denied the opportunity to vote on the issue.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

They will also demonstrate that the cloud tax violates preexisting statutes that protect internet users from burdensome taxes. The Internet Freedom Tax Act, which was passed way back in 1998, is supposed to prevent all levels of the government, whether city, state, or federal, from taxing citizens for using common internet services like email.

City claims they’re above board

The city, on the other hand, claims that the cloud tax is legal under the preexisting Amusement Tax, which charges an extra fee to Chicagoans for the “privilege to witness, view, or participate in an amusement.”

They say this tax should also apply to “amusements that are delivered electronically.” Legal representatives for the city feel “confident that the ruling is valid.”

The city stands to lose an estimated $12 million in potential tax revenue.

#CloudTax

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The
American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Advertisement

KEEP READING!

Tech News

Get a first look at upcoming tools and tech with Google's new AI Test Kitchen, a curated space where users can try out beta...

Tech News

If you have files on Amazon Drive, the service is being sunset soon - better back those files up.

Tech News

If you open Gmail today, things might look and act differently, but the changes are being well received - here's what's new.

Tech News

Tech companies like Slack, JPMorgan, and Zoom are more open to hiring those with criminal records. Why should you follow their lead?

The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.