If you’re a Chicago Bears Personal Seat License (PSL) holder, you are in a lawsuit against the City of Chicago. Surprise!
The lawsuit is not trying to recover money from the city for the horrible conditions of the turf or the less-than-stellar play on the field. Instead, the suit seeks to recover $10 million in amusement taxes the city charged PSL holders. For a better explanation, check this out from Chicago Breaking Sports (more after the jump):
In the ongoing battle centered on whether the city can impose and collect an amusement tax on those permanent seat licenses, or PSLs, Cook County Judge Alexander White issued a 17-page ruling on July 16 certifying the class-action status.
Ten people and an automotive parts company filed the suit last year on behalf of thousands of permanent and former PSL holders, but for the suit could not move forward as a class action without White’s ruling.
As a way to pay for the renovation of Soldier Field, the Bears began in 2002 selling the licenses — for anywhere between $900 and $10,000 per seat — that allow owners to buy season tickets for certain seats.
In his ruling, White wrote that PSLs give holders the right “to purchase tickets which would then give the ticket purchaser the right to witness an amusement,” and the city already taxes the tickets. The city claims that PSLs themselves are part of an entertainment package that warrant the amusement tax.
The Bears initially paid the city a 7 percent amusement tax on the sales of the PSLs in late 2002 and early 2003. Last year, when the amusement tax was raised to 9 percent, the city attempted to collect the taxes from about 2,900 people on PSLs they had reason to believe were sold or transferred — some as many as six years ago.
The proposed class includes the estimated 2,900 who obtained their PSLs after the initial sale and the 30,000 or so who originally bought them, according to the ruling.
So basically the City wanted to double tax the PSL seats – once on the license and again on the tickets. Sounds pretty shady to me. If you had or currently have a PSL, get in on this.