Monday, August 23, 2010

Pay Up Slaves

Pay Up
Got a blog that makes no money? The city wants $300, thank you very much.

by Valerie Rubinsky
Published: Aug 18, 2010

For the past three years, Marilyn Bess has operated MS Philly Organic,  a small, low-traffic blog that features occasional posts about green living, out of her Manayunk home. Between her blog and infrequent contributions to ehow.com, over the last few years she says she's made about $50. To Bess, her website is a hobby. To the city of Philadelphia, it's a potential moneymaker, and the city wants its cut.
In May, the city sent Bess a letter demanding that she pay $300, the price of a business privilege license.
She's not alone. After dutifully reporting even the smallest profits on their tax filings this year, a number — though no one knows exactly what that number is — of Philadelphia bloggers were dispatched letters informing them that they owe $300 for a privilege license, plus taxes on any profits they made.

Even if, as with Sean Barry, that profit is $11 over two years.

In June, City Council members Bill Green and Maria Quiñones-Sánchez unveiled a proposal to reform the city's business privilege tax in an effort to make Philly a more attractive place for small businesses. If their bill passes, bloggers will still have to get a privilege license if their sites are designed to make money, but they would no longer have to pay taxes on their first $100,000 in profit. (If bloggers don't want to fork over $300 for a lifetime license, Green suggests they take the city's $50-a-year plan.)

Their bill will be officially introduced in September. "There's a lot of support and interest in this idea," Green says.

I guess the moral of this story is do not declare the minuscule profit you make on your blog on your taxes.

5 comments:

江仁趙雲虹昆 said...

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Robin said...

WHAT?!? A business privilege license,

OMG, I think that I have heard it all now.

of course that is no different then the Personal Property tax that business have to pay in Lane County.

I even had to place a value on toilet paper and pay a tax on it.

and I am being serious about that.

MAX Redline said...

This is just one of many examples of governmental desire to regulate every component of every citizen's life.

I'm into small government for good reason.

Ted said...

Yeah, one of you should fight back or something.

Ted said...

God, is this blog boring. Bobkitten is sure fired up, isn't he?