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Friday, August 8, 2014

County 1, Bears 0 in Amusement Tax Case

Cook County lost its use tax case earlier this week, but pulled out a win in another tax case involving the county's 3% amusement tax. 

The Chicago Bears Football Club (Bears) had for years calculated the county's amusement tax on the value of a seat, excluding other amenities that come with certain seat purchases such as club access and membership, special parking privileges, and luxury suite access.  So, for example, if a club seat ticket price cost $235, the Bears would separate out the "seat" price of $77.27 for purposes of taxation.  The county challenged this  practice, arguing that the entire seat charge should be subject to taxation.  An administrative law judge agreed, and assessed the Bears delinquent taxes and interest of more than $4 million.  The trial court reversed the ALJ's decision, finding in favor of the Bears.  

On appeal, the appellate court ruled against the Bears, concluding that the "amenities associated with higher priced tickets cannot be separated from the price to enter the venue and view the event and they are, therefore, subject to the County amusement tax."

County 1, Bears 0.

Let's hope the Bears fare a little better against the Eagles tonight in their first 2014 preseason game.


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