Aug 23, 2010

Bloggers in Philadelphia must buy $300 business license

Got a blog and live in Philly? Buy a $300 business privilege license.

What if your blog in Philly makes no money? Buy a $300 business privilege license.

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 home. Between her blog and infrequent contributions to, to 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.
She's not alone. After dutifully reporting even the smallest profits on their tax filings this year, a number 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.

Barry's music-oriented blog, Circle of Fits, is hosted on Blogspot; as of this writing, its home page has two ads on it, but because he gets only a fraction of the already low ad revenue — the rest goes to Blogspot — it's far from lucrative.