Netflix and cloud services are about to get more expensive in Chicago

Netflix and cloud services are about to get more expensive in Chicago

If you live in Chicago, streaming services get more expensive. A new “cloud tax” law goes into effect in the city today, aimed at seeking out more revenue from popular streaming platforms.

According to The Verge, the tax is made up of two different rulings from the city’s Department of Finance. One covers streaming platforms like Netflix and Spotify (for ‘electronically delivered amusements’), the other would cover remote databases like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft’s Azure (for ‘nonpossessory computer leases’).

It’s a 9 percent tax, so $100 of server time elsewhere would cost $109 in Chicago.

The tax is applied to consumers, but Netflix told The Verge it’s planning to simply add the tax as part of its monthly bill for Chicago customers. It’s not clear how other services will handle it though.

Chicago is likely implementing the tax as a way to counter a downturn in brick and mortar store. After all, where the city used to be able to tax your local Blockbuster, now it’s forced to watch potential revenue go to services with their servers located elsewhere.

Still, it could set a dangerous precedent for an open Web if the same service becomes more expensive in different parts of a country.

Chicago’s ‘cloud tax’ makes Netflix and other streaming services more expensive [The Verge]

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