RegulationsTechnology

Chicago’s 9 percent cloud tax will include real estate listings, prices

Other states like Vermont have tried to put a tax on the intangible cloud, but the Windy City is giving it a shot

On June 9, the City of Chicago released a tax expansion ruling to include streaming and cloud-based data in its 9 percent gross receipt tax. Effective July 1, the "clarification" has technology companies, lawmakers and housing market experts in the city scratching their heads, wondering what the ruling covers and how much of an impact it could have. According to the Personal Property Lease Transaction Tax Ruling document, data or information that is retrieved for consumer use is taxable. The document goes on to list those items, which include real estate listings and prices, plus legal research, consumer credit reports, marketing data, job listings, resumes, economic statistics and weather statistics -- essentially, the ruling covers any data pulled from a cloud. This tax ruling should have already been in place to regulate cloud-based services the same way brick-and-mortar services are regulated, according to officials. A portion of it, ruling No. 5, specifically targets stre...