Playstation gamers are now forced to pay an “amusement tax” in Chicago as city officials tax everything to cover underfunded public pensions.
Gamers were recently notified that they would have to pay a 9% levy every time they pay for Playstation subscription services such as Playstation Now, Playstation Plus and Playstation Music.
“The city’s amusement tax, which used to apply mostly to concert and sporting event tickets, was extended to include streaming services in 2015,” reported the Chicago Tribune. “That includes charges paid for playing games, according to Chicago’s Finance Department.”
Spotify, Netflix and Hulu were already collecting the tax on customers; Apple, on the other hand, took the city to court.
Chicago forced the tax on gamers after the city fell $130 billion in pension debt, according to Zero Hedge.
“Barring real reforms, concessions from the unions or bankruptcy, Chicagoans can expect to be hit with whatever series of tax hikes politicians will try to enact to reduce that debt,” the outlet reported. “That $130 billion is the total Moody’s calculates when adding up the direct pension debt owed by the city government, Chicago Public Schools, the park district and Chicago’s share of various Cook County governments and the five state pension funds.”
Naturally, the “amusement tax” won’t even come remotely close to raising $130 billion, but the fact the debt exists gives city officials convenient excuses to enact even more taxes.
A few years ago, for example, Chicago proposed a massive $500 million property tax hike, which, despite its eyepopping amount, would do little to dampen the debt.
“It would take a $1.34 billion tax increase, not $500 million, just to start funding Chicago’s pensions adequately,” reported wirepoints.com. “Throw in another $150 million or so for the garbage collection fee, sugary drink tax, Uber tax and e-cigarette tax the city is also considering and you still don’t get nearly enough to fund pension promises made.”