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PlayStation users in Chicago to be slapped with 9 percent 'amusement' tax

PlayStation gamers in Chicago will soon be hit with the city's 9 percent amusement tax. And the gamers aren't happy. (Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)

Since 2015, Chicago's 9 percent "amusement" tax has been tacked on to the price of online streaming services like Netflix, Spotify, and Xbox Live.

Now, the city has reached an agreement with Sony to start collecting the tax from PlayStation users who have an address in the Windy City — and the gamers aren't happy.

What are the details?

Starting Wednesday, PlayStation users will be hit with the same 9 percent tax charged to other streaming service customers in Chicago. Gamer David Kim told WBBM-TV, he doesn't understand the reasoning or timing behind the tax being implemented.

"You are just playing in the comfort of your living room playing PlayStation — why do you have to be taxed on it? Makes no sense," Kim said. "Why should I have to pay extra (if) I didn't have to pay before, why do I have to pay now?

Fellow gamer Danny Yoshiba echoed Kim's remarks, adding, "I think it's kind of ridiculous that you have to pay more to play the same game."

Anything else?

Chicago's amusement tax is already added to the ticket prices of sporting events, cultural performances, and anything else that might be considered fun.

When streaming services were added into the mix in 2015, they were rolled in by "administratively clarifying" existing taxes rather than the City Council voting on their inclusion.

The Liberty Justice Center unsuccessfully sued to try to stop the tax, along with major video game companies, but the city continues to expand the amusement tax to additional services.

The Chicago Tribune called the inclusion of streaming services "the latest example of Mayor Rahm Emanuel boosting various smaller fees and fines to try to help close the city's gaping budget hole."

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