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Chicagoans who pay to stream movies and music from services like Netflix and Spotify will now need to fork over an additional 9 percent for the privilege, as will Chicago businesses that pay to use everything from real estate to court databases online, under a decision the city quietly made recently to expand its taxing power.
The personal property lease transaction tax expansion also applies to professional services, like electronic property databases real estate agents use, court case databases lawyers rely on and various financial information networks.
Anything that requires a user to do a search or make a request is subject to the tax. "There is nothing you can access that's not taxable," he said.
Emanuel has turned repeatedly to increasing smaller taxes and fees to help fill the city's coffers.
Last month he introduced a plan to require off-site parking companies at Chicago's airports to share their revenue with the city in exchange for pickup privileges at O'Hare and Midway airports.
The mayor also has tried targeted fee increases on parking at downtown garages, cable TV taxes and telephone line 911 costs, among others.