Chicago Wants To Double-Collect Taxes On Event Ticket Sales

from the pay-more-taxes dept

eBay subsidiary StubHub seems like a pretty straightforward concept: it’s a marketplace for event ticket resales. It’s a huge market, and it makes sense to have a platform for people to resell tickets they’ve legally bought. However, StubHub seems to keep getting attacked and finding itself in court. First there was Ticketmaster, which complained that StubHub was violating Ticketmaster’s “exclusive” rights to selling tickets to certain venues. Then there was the New England Patriots who demanded the names of whoever sold tickets through StubHub in order to punish the ticketholders. Now, the city of Chicago is suing eBay and StubHub, claiming that it needs to collect a special city “amusement tax” on each ticket sold. This is a pure money grab. The original ticket buyer already paid that tax — and even if you accept the idea that resales should also be taxed (which is pretty questionable), then it seems like something that the actual seller should be responsible for, rather than StubHub/eBay itself. But, don’t tell that to Chicago politicians who see this as an easy way to hit up a big company for millions of dollars. If this sounds similar to the attempts to suddenly get Amazon to pay up in other states, that’s because it is. Seems like local governments are looking for any way to squeeze companies for extra tax dollars, no matter how little sense it actually makes.

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Companies: ebay, stubhub

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Comments on “Chicago Wants To Double-Collect Taxes On Event Ticket Sales”

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Nate says:

Nothing out of the ordinary...

To have our money taxed twice is not out of the ordinary. Not saying this is right, infact, it is nice to see these sorts of situations get exposed. It helps people see how screwed they get in their taxes. If you think about your money, from start to finish, you probably loose about 50-60% to some sort of tax or gvmt fee.

Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) says:

Re: Re:

Went to a Radiohead concert in St. Louis last week. I bought my tix through eBay (risky…but they were good). I think I only paid $15 more than if I would have bought them directly through Ticketmaster including all the fees. I did look at the Stubhub tix and thought how outrageous the prices were, ie. equivalant seats approximately $285 (I paid $165). It makes sense though, a large portion of the seats (not lawn/general admission)were empty the entire concert. So Stubhub resellers buy them en masse from Ticketmaster…less people can afford to go to the concert with decent seats and they don’t buy tickets…Radiohead sees a bunch of empty seats/don’t get a full venue crowd/hurt band’s ego. At least Radiohead gets the money for selling all the tickets and resellers are left, hopefully, losing money on that concert.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Two Things

Re #4
Nobody here is saying that buying tickets Purposely to resell them is an entrepreneur. I would still call them parasites and I still dislike them. However, that is no reason to add a tax to them. Adding a tax after the right of first sale will have many unintended consequences. There is the right of first sale where they have a chance to collect tax from this, and that should be the only place we allow the government to tax.

If the city wants a money grab, why not charge the oil companies. They have billions of dollars … each .. every single quarter.

Brandon says:


If I remember correctly, Chicago a couple years ago also tried to pass a tax or fee just to drive into it’s downtown Loop area in hopes of collecting more money from business travelers/tourists and to get residents to use more mass transit.

So what’s next, tax on items sold at a garage sale? Why not? We have to pay tax on things bought at Goodwill, don’t we?

Overcast says:

Or an even better answer is to just not buy them. Every time I’m even interested in a show – they are sold out to these scalpers and such – and the tickets are far too much.

I haven’t bought tickets to a game or a concert in probably 15 years – and most likely will not ever again. I like going – but they are just far too expensive now.

So they can keep the tickets and I’ll keep the money I would have paid in taxes.

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