Monday, August 17, 2015

Taxing the Cloud

Chicago, Chicago, that taxing town. Bet your bottom dollar.....  If you enjoy Pandora, Netflix, or anything else that requires streaming online or cloud service, get ready to pay more money in the Windy City.  NPR reported:

You wouldn't expect to pay a local tax when you stream a movie on Netflix, but Chicago has decided that such cloud-based services should be taxed just like tickets for live entertainment.

There was no debate or public hearing over the city's "cloud tax" — a 9 percent tax on streaming entertainment like Netflix and Spotify.

The city says that's because the tax isn't new and is actually a clarification — not an expansion of two taxes that have long been in effect. One is called the Personal Property Lease Transaction Tax, and the other is the Amusement Tax, which has traditionally been tacked onto tickets for concerts and sporting events.

But now just about everybody who pays to stream a video or television show will have to pay more.

Netflix reportedly plans to pass the tax the city will apply to cloud based services along to customers...

Facebook is not in the mix, but this tax will apply to paid subscriptions for streamed entertainment like TV shows, movies and digital music, and to so-called cloud-based services like the Multiple Listing Service that Realtors use. Brian Bernardoni with the Chicago Association of Realtors says that has raised lots of concern in his industry....

The tax is expected to add about $12 million in revenue to a city struggling to fill a deep budget hole. Michael Reever with the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce says Chicago has held the line on property and sales taxes, but putting a tax on cloud-based computer services is a nickel-and-dime approach.....

In a statement, the city says its ruling brings companies using new technology in line with brick-and-mortar businesses. The city also promised exemptions for tech startups based on their revenue.

Bernardoni says regardless, there are plenty of people bothered by Chicago's approach.

"Tax policy is one of those things that not only people in the city of Chicago look at, but people across the country look at," he says. "And when we add new taxes, we add another cloud around the city saying this is not a good place to do business."

The cloud tax, already in effect, may have caught some off guard. But the high tech industry is already considering a legal challenge to Chicago's tax on streaming and database services. Rest of article.


Anonymous said...

People have gotten used to the internet's being a free lunch. It wasn't going to last.

Anonymous said...

@9:18 - There is nothing free about using the internet. First, you have to have ACCESS to it. This can be obtained only by subscribing to some cable company or AT&T, etc....for which you pay a fee...that is TAXED. Then, actually use the data available via the internet, you have to pay for it. Either you buy MP3s outright or you subscribe to Pandora, etc....and you pay a fee...that is TAXED. ALL of those companies who distribute data or sell products via the internet have brick & mortar buildings SOMEWHERE...and they pay their business taxes there just like any other brick & mortar business does. Chicago is taxing its citizens for buying their mp3s from someone who is does not have a building in Chicago. That would be like a Jackson resident going to Dogwood or Renaissance to buy a shirt then being stopped at a road block on the way back into town so the city can asses a tax on his purchase.

Anonymous said...

That would be like a Jackson resident going to Dogwood or Renaissance to buy a shirt then being stopped at a road block on the way back into town so the city can asses a tax on his purchase.

Don't give them any ideas.

Anonymous said...

2:01, if you're (1) in Chicago and (2) engaging in commerce with somebody, then that transaction is taxable by Chicago.

People who don't like it, can move.

As this easy-money revenue source becomes more popular, however, I suspect we'll have to have the feds regulating who can tax, etc. - or we might see state, county, municipality taxes ...

Anonymous said...

I am so sick of people saying, "if you don't like it then move," as if quitting one's job, selling one's house, uprooting one's family, leaving one's friends and relatives, determining a new location, and finding a new job, house, school, etc. in the new city is a piece of cake.

It's precisely because moving is such a cumbersome process that municipalities like the Peoples' Republic of Chicago pull crap like this.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Yes, the tree of liberty must from time to time be watered with the blood of U-Haul invoices.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

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In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

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Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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