Houses moves to block streaming sales tax
Illinoisans will get to keep streaming their TV programs, music and everything else without paying additional sales tax if the Senate heeds the House's recently approved resolution to keep such a tax out of the "grand bargain" budget.
The Illinois Senate is considering SB9, which includes an amendment by state Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields) that would extend Illinois’ sales tax rate of 6.25 percent to cable and satellite television and internet streaming services like Netflix, Spotify and Xbox Live.
The House resolution, introduced by state Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills), opposes the amendment.
“Illinois should not increase taxes on citizens who depend on cable TV and satellite services for news and entertainment … we oppose expanding the State sales tax to cover the delivery of audio and video services, by cable TV, satellite dish, or other infrastructure, to Illinois homes and households,” the resolution states.
The Better Government Association, an advocacy group that reported on the House resolution, has been critical of SB9 on the grounds that it is likely illegal, stemming from a 2013 case in which the state tried to apply sales tax to all online retailers. The group also says the amendment does not make it clear how the tax would be applied and argues that as a regressive tax, it would not address the underlying issues that have led to Illinois’ current economic situation.