Oh Boy

Via Phillyist:

Philadelphia drew the wrath of local bloggers last week due to rumors of a blogger tax. The label is somewhat misleading, as the city is not taxing bloggers. Philly is applying an existing law forcing bloggers (the ones generating revenue, anyway) to register for a business license. The community’s anger stems from the lack of a revenue minimum—meaning if you live in Philadelphia and make $5 from your blog this year, you have to pay $50 per year, or $300 for a lifetime business privilege license.

The city’s Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy and the Department of Revenue are joining together to answer bloggers’ questions. They will be hosting a happy hour next Wednesday at National Mechanics. If you are a blogger based in the city or just generally interested in Philadelphia business laws, the event is open to the public.

“Bloggergate” Happy Hour presented by the City of Philadelphia
National Mechanics (22 S. 3rd St.)
Wed, 9/08/10
5:00 p.m. &ndash 7:00 p.m.

3 thoughts on “Oh Boy

  1. I remember warning a couple local bloggers about this at a Drinking Liberally in about 2004. The City’s business taxes are much broader than people think they are. (eg, when LeBron James comes to town, he has to pay Philly tax on the umpteen thousand dollars he gets for playing in that one game) The actual taxes are pretty minimal if you’re making less than $10k or so a year, but the paperwork does take some time (about 45 minutes or so not including the time you spent doing your 1040 in preparation).

    The most annoying part is that you need a different business privilege license for each category of job you have– when I got my law license, and worked on my own, I needed to give the City $300 even though I already had one dating from the early 90’s when I was a computer consultant.

  2. Serious question: Does this law cover people who hold yard and rummage sales? It’s a means of income, even when one is selling at a (usually) sizable loss from the initial investment.

    So, can they start pulling down signs giving addresses and then issuing these demands for payment of the business tax?

    Desperate times call for desperate measures: surely there’re big bucks in lots and lots of payments from all those weekend rummage sales!

    Might mean some angry voters, but, hey, a city’s gotta have revenues.

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