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+ - Can New Chicago Taxes on Netflix, Apple, Spotify Withstand Legal Challenges?->

Mr D from 63 writes: In a tax ruling issued in early June, the city of Chicago expanded its amusement tax to include amusements such as TV shows, movies, videos, music and online games, if they are delivered by electronic means to customers in the city. The ruling became effective July 1.

The initial tax rate is 9% on streaming content. Sales of movies and music and the rest is not taxable, and the tax must be paid whether a customer is paying a subscription charge, a per event fee or some other variation. Chicago expects to collect $12 million a year as a result of the new tax ruling.

Amusement Tax Ruling;

The amusement tax applies to charges paid for the privilege to witness, view or participate in an amusement. This includes not only charges paid for the privilege to witness, view or participate in amusements in person but also charges paid for the privilege to witness, view or participate in amusements that are delivered electronically. Thus:

        a) charges paid for the privilege of watching electronically delivered television shows, movies or videos are subject to the amusement tax, if the shows, movies or videos are delivered to a patron (i.e., customer) in the City (see paragraph 13 below);

        b) charges paid for the privilege of listening to electronically delivered music are subject to the amusement tax, if the music is delivered to a customer in the City;

        c) and charges paid for the privilege of participating in games, on-line or otherwise, are subject to the amusement tax if the games are delivered to a customer in the City.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Antropologist (Score 1) 121 121

The article really has nothing to do with nuclear power plants, despite the opening references. He is talking about the poor security at the Oak Ridge facility. If private security guards are so bad, maybe they should call in the experts from Homeland Security.

He is purposely conflating nuclear power plants with Oak Ridge, which is a trick regularly employed by Union of Concerned Scientists in their anti-nuclear cries. The simple fact they resort to those tactics tells you something about them.

Comment: Re:Profit over safety (Score 1) 121 121

I am GM of a nuclear power plan ....

You are a liar, that is about all you are. "engineering" doesn't tell a GM to shut the plant down to fix a pump. Operators do that, and its all proceduralized so there is no GM decision to make.

You can't even describe what pumps you are talking about nor their function.

Comment: Enable the 'act now' crowd (Score 4, Interesting) 165 165

Part of this approach is simply that the offer allows people that are considering new hardware to go ahead and do it, and not wait for W10. In the past, many would hold off as a new OS was on the horizon. So its not necessarily all about saving $$.

Comment: Re:Does Uber need executives in France? (Score 1) 325 325

I think over half of the US union force is government workers, so that would put them about even in private industry. I also looked for a breakdown country by country, but its hard to find. Some countries don't allow federal employee unions, others its almost 100%, and that makes a big difference in the figures.

Comment: Re:while video is great it is biased (Score 1) 54 54

Actually, the danger to a person being killed by an asteroid is not changed. That won't happen until some technology is developed to deal with them. But, at least we would know the end is coming.

The danger of a given person getting killed has not changed, but the chance of a person getting killed may have increased slightly with the increase in human population.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 2) 37 37

The datacap thing is more worrying. It is supposed to work like "all streaming music is exempt", not "just our streaming music service is exempt", but that has to be enforced by regulators. It's hard to see how they would exempt all streaming music services anywhere in the world, from a technical point of view.

They may have to limit these exceptions to things that require very high bandwidth (HD IPTV) and/or very low latency (Videoconferencing). Then music streaming would not be considered an exception. I agree that how (and how much) they keep those exception lanes open to competitors is the tough question.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 37 37

I think the exceptions make sense if implemented properly.. there could be devils in the details.You get what you pay for, and you can pay for extra features if you want. They key is that YOU decide and pay, and as long as the options are open with no favorites, it seems it could be done quite fairly.

Comment: Re:Not surprised (Score 3, Insightful) 325 325

Alternatively; if Uber drivers don't need to buy licenses and follow certain regulations, why should taxi drivers? It seems like Uber is working well enough under a de-regulated environment.

Then the very environment that Uber thrives on would be gone. They'd have to adapt as well.

Comment: Re:Does Uber need executives in France? (Score 2, Insightful) 325 325

They need drivers, and if they can arrest executives, they can likely arrest drivers as well. Interestingly, France has a heavily unionized workforce...so maybe the Uber drivers need to unionize (jk).

And while France may have a legal basis to take those actions, I hate that they give the union protestors, who damaged and disrupted so much, what they wanted. It sends a message for others to follow suit. France is in a pickle.

Comment: Re:Uber takes over? (Score 3, Informative) 226 226

Yes, Uber has one goal and that is make as much money as possible. They don't care about the Taxi companies, and in the end they won't care about their own drivers. They will make the plays they can now to capitalize as much as possible on their success to date. They might even agree to purchase licenses, boost driver requirements, etc. In which case they start looking more and more like the taxi companies.

The rule on staying alive as a forecaster is to give 'em a number or give 'em a date, but never give 'em both at once. -- Jane Bryant Quinn

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