07.31.2010 0

If You Blog in Philly, Please Pay the $300 Tax For Your Thoughts

  • On: 08/23/2010 22:23:48
  • In: First Amendment
  • By Adam Bitely

    If you operate a blog in Philadelphia, PA, get ready to pay a $300 tax. That’s right, if you are a blogger in the city of Philadelphia, you may soon face a $300 tax for simply operating a blog regardless of how much money you make from doing so.

    According to Aaron Proctor, who blogs at the Philadelphia Libertarian Examiner, “If your ’site is designed to make money’–and by City standards that means your site exists — then you must file for a ‘business privilege’ and pay the $300 to ‘run a business’ in this City.”

    The city of Philadelphia considers any blog that has the ability to generate money as a ‘business’. Thus, the city is requiring people to pay $300 to register for a Business Privilege License–which allows the city government to have a registry of those potentially making money online. However, most of the bloggers affected by this generate little to no money.

    As reported by the Philadelphia City Paper, tax attorney Michael Mandale of Center City law firm Mandale Kaufmann said, “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’… [This applies] whether or not they earned a profit during the preceding year.”

    The true goal of the city of Philadelphia here is to raise revenue from a source they currently aren’t. To those affected by this, this appears to be the city imposing a tax on free speech.

    According to Bill Wilson, President of Americans for Limited Government, “A tax on free speech is obscene. Government in this instance shows its true face; greedy, grasping and the enemy of individual liberty.”

    Wilson continued, saying “Actions like these by the City of Philadelphia are what is destroying what little credibility government as an entity has left.”

    The credibility of the city of Philadelphia is diminished when they seek to raise money by taxing people more than they earn. If a blogger makes $11 a year in Philadelphia, they still have to obtain the license, causing them to be short $300.

    This is repugnant — how else to describe a speech license? — and should be stopped.

    Adam Bitely is the Editor-in-Chief of NetRightDaily.com for Americans for Limited Government.

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