Starting this September the City of Chicago plans on levying a cloud tax. Meaning people using streaming services like that of Netflix and Spotify will be taxed to the tune of 9%. The Chicago Finance Department determined this was acceptable due to the existing amusement tax and personal property lease transaction tax (which involves the digital content transfers to cloud storage). Furthermore, the city plans to tax transaction usage of off-site Legal and Real Estate databases. Watch out people because Chicago, as usual, just got more expensive. Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune sum’s it up quite elegantly,
Is this something we would wish for? Of course not. Is this something that will happen sooner rather than later? If it were legal to place a taxable wager on it, it would be a safe bet. If Orange Is the New Black is the new source of green for Chicago, the taxman will be binge-watching everything we do.
It’s not especially surprising considering the existing mountain of debt facing the city but at some point they are going to drive out so much business that would have brought revenue into Chicago. Where does the line get drawn for taxation when the city cannot seem to manage the money they collect? I am certain that if this pattern is allowed to continue Chicago will be the next Detroit, everyone will feel the effects. Penny-wise and pound-foolish