Chicago, IL

Apple Finally Settles 2018 Lawsuit Against Chicago For "Netflix Tax"

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Iconic tech company, Apple, has settled its lawsuit against the city of Chicago regarding the local government's "Netflix tax."

Apple, founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniack on April 1, 1976, has become famous for its wide array of sleek, user-friendly tech products.

The business was put on the map with Macintosh computers and is today most well-known for products like iPhones, MacBook laptop computers, and AirPod bluetooth earphones.

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Apple also has its own streaming service, Apple TV+, that features popular Apple Originals like Ted Lasso, Acapulco, They Call Me Magic, and Prehistoric Planet.

Now, Apple and the city of Chicago have reached a settlement in a lawsuit over the Windy City's so-called "Netflix tax." Originally filed in 2018, Apple's suit was put on hold while the metropolitan judiciary system navigated a separate lawsuit against Chicago from Netflix, Hulu and Spotify users.

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The Hollywood Reporter shared what few details are known regarding the settlement:

In an order issued on Wednesday, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Duffy dismissed the case. Terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed.

Chicago introduced a so-called “Netflix tax” in 2015, levying a 9 percent surcharge on users of streaming entertainment services. The revenue program was a result of a reinterpretation of a long-standing tax program, extending the city’s tax on tickets for recreational activities and concerts to “amusements that are delivered electronically.” It’s widely regarded as the first tax specifically targeting the likes of Disney+, Spotify and Amazon Prime Video.

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The streaming tax has been quite lucrative for the metropolitan area, with a Bloomberg analysis confirming that Chicago earned $30 million from the tax in 2021 alone.

However, as another recent article noted, Chicago brings in approximately $1.5 billion in taxes annually, so the $30 million from the "Netflix tax" is really a drop in the bucket.

What do you think about the "Netflix tax"?

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