Philly Wants Its Bloggers to Pay $300 Fee

By Alexis C. Madrigal

The city of Philadelphia wants bloggers to pay $300 for a business license, even if they haven't made any money from their work. To put it mildly, this is probably not the best way to attract members of the creative class. It also seems like a good example of what happens when you take laws that were meant to apply to street peddlers and apply them to people who "work in" Philadelphia in only the least important sense of the phrase. Philly's excellent City Paper reports:
 

Even though small-time bloggers aren't exactly raking in the dough, the city requires privilege licenses for any business engaged in any "activity for profit," says tax attorney Michael Mandale of Center City law firm Mandale Kaufmann. This applies "whether or not they earned a profit during the preceding year," he adds.

 So even if your blog collects a handful of hits a day, as long as there's the potential for it to be lucrative -- and, as Mandale points out, most hosting sites set aside space for bloggers to sell advertising -- the city thinks you should cut it a check.

Read the full story at Philadelphia City Paper.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2010/08/philly-wants-its-bloggers-to-pay-300-fee/61945/