Bloggers, Pay Up!
Bloggers beware! Heard of the new business privilege tax? It’s Philadelphia’s tax levied on bloggers and freelance writers who make any income through online advertising. (The tax is $300 for a lifetime privilege or you can pay $50 a year for a limited privilege).
The city’s position is that, just as with regular businesses, bloggers making money through the ads on their blogs are, in essence, running a business, and thus the city should be able to tax such bloggers. Seems like a reasonable enough tax, especially if the blog is, in effect, a business and the blogger is making money off the blog. But the controversy behind the tax arises at least partly because the tax will apply to all Philly bloggers (and freelance writers) making money from ad revenue on their blogs, regardless of how much profit is being made.
The tax may make sense when applying it to a business that also runs a blog and thus makes money off the blog. But what about those bloggers who are just blogging and making peanuts for their efforts? Blogs seem a common vehicle for people to share their two cents, to praise or complain about everything from the government to the weather, and sometimes to say a lot without saying anything. Should such people, who may be making a few dollars through this online therapy have to pay a tax for doing so? Share your thoughts.
Bloggers are expected to register their “business” and pay the tax themselves but the city will also be searching the internet to enforce the new tax.