Did Philadelphia Lose Its Mind?

Or Is It The Smartest City in the U.S.?


We're not the kind of group to get all political, but news this morning came to us that Philadelphia is requiring bloggers pay to write on the Internet. We're interested in what Website Magazine readers have to say.

According to Philly's City Paper, the city does not stop there: In addition to the $300 for the license to write on the World Wide Web, bloggers must pay city wage taxes, business privilege taxes and taxes on any net profits -- on top of state and federal taxes.

Philadelphia requires privilege licenses for any business engaged in any "activity for profit," said tax attorney Michael Mandale of Center City law firm Mandale Kaufmann on CityPaper.net. This applies "whether or not they earned a profit during the preceding year," he added.

This means that even if your weblog or website only gets a few unique visitors a day, as long as there is a potential for it to be lucrative, you're now in the tax sights of the cit of Philly.

In June of this year (2010), Philadelphia city council members 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.

As you might imagine, those in the city of Brotherly Love aren't necessarily pleased. An NBC Philadelphia poll indicates that 85% are furious about the matter. But what about you; how would you respond if your city or town were to enact such a measure?