After raising taxes for the sixth time in seven years, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel said, “I want to thank all of Chicago’s taxpayers for doing their part to solve Chicago’s financial problems and usher in a better day.”

That better day has not come, and now Chicagoans who try to escape from taxes, and the cold, with some Netflix or video games are finding the tax burden expanding to their hobbies at the whim of bureaucrats.  

A host of streaming platforms have started to comply with a 9 percent amusement tax that was implemented in 2015.

This 9 percent tax was created by a fiat administrative declaration by Chicago’s Department of Finance, forgoing the hearing process the Chicago City Council has in place.

Unfortunately, the Circuit Court of Cook County upheld Chicago’s imposition of the tax this past May. Despite a pending appeal in the State Appellate Court, companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify, Xbox Live, PlayStation, and Hulu have started to comply with the tax.

Apple filed a lawsuit against the city in August alleging the tax on its music streaming services was illegal and discriminatory and will not collect the tax in Chicago until the case is decided.

The most vocal opponents of the amusement tax’s expansion to streaming have been the gaming community.

Their concern comes in the wake of PlayStation beginning to collect the additional 9 percent tax on essentially anything purchased through the PlayStation store, and other online services. Microsoft, through its gaming services associated with Xbox (a Microsoft company), has been collecting the tax since last year.

Gamers are understandably upset that Chicago bureaucrats would invent a tax on their fun, while city politicians fail to make a concerted effort to cut spending.

Chicago already has the nation’s third highest combined sales tax rate among cities, coming in at 10.25 percent. Adding a 9 percent tax on top of that to consumers who may have already been deterred from spending money on the town is absurd. The Windy City is turning ‘Netflix and Chill’ to simply ‘Chill’.