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Tax Law

Amusing Development: Cook County No Longer Applies Amusement Tax to Paid Television

Effective April 1, 2020, the Cook County Department of Revenue is no longer applying its amusement tax to sales of paid television to non-residential customers, such as bars and hotels. The amusement tax ordinance never expressly applied to paid television. Rather, in 2007, the Department issued Amusement Ruling #1, which purported to include paid television within the definition of an “amusement.” In a letter recently issued to taxpayers, the Department stated that it will no longer collect the tax. The Department attributes its policy change to the “result of rulings recently issued by the Department of Administrative Hearings.” This position change is only prospective. The implication is that the Department will not allow any refund claims (which are subject to an unusually short one-year limitations period).