Blogging in Philly will now cost $300 for a Business Privilege License.
Gotta love Philly – a midnight blue Democrat city that never found a tax it would not implement. So, if you blog in Philly and partake in advertising, Philadelphia department of revenue wants their cut even if you make no money on this endeavor.
Even though small-time bloggers aren’t exactly raking in the dough, the city requires privilege licenses for any business engaged in any “activity for profit,” says tax attorney Michael Mandale of Center City law firm Mandale Kaufmann. This applies “whether or not they earned a profit during the preceding year,” he adds.
So even if your blog collects a handful of hits a day, as long as there’s the potential for it to be lucrative — and, as Mandale points out, most hosting sites set aside space for bloggers to sell advertising — the city thinks you should cut it a check.
Note, I don’t pursue advertising on this blog and never will. Although, I wonder how this applies to bloggers that accept G-Pal or PayPal donations?
UPDATE: Now would be a good time to remind my local readers that all 17 members of Philadelphia City Council are up for reelection next year. Change begins locally and we surely can find 17 more qualified individuals to run and replace the current council.
Ed Morrissey weighs in on this story, he thinks its crass but legit for the city to demand a license fee. I can’t wait till the city starts demanding a business license for children’s lemonade stands and sundry yard sales that can be found in practically every neighborhood. Like the Cordoba mosque, this is a really bad idea.
Blonde Sagacity looks at the finer point of taxing ‘potential profit’.
First In labels Philly as tax capitol of the world!!!
PaWatercooler has several thoughts on this issue.
Aaron Proctor: Philly’s new blogger tax gouges free speech and free thought
Thanks to all of you who have emailed and offered assistance in changing my blog address. Since I don’t earn any income from this blog via advertising or a tip jar, I’ve nothing to report on my tax form. Actually, I’m stunned by the absolute absurdity of this issue.