Philadelphia Demanding Business License For Bloggers Who Bring In A Bit Of Cash

from the well-isn't-that-nice dept

A whole bunch of you have been sending over this story about how the city of Philadelphia, in its desperate need for cash, is starting to demand that hobby bloggers get a business license if they’ve made any revenue at all. Not if they’ve made profit, but revenue. So, any blog that has Google ads and brings in a couple pennies could be required to get a business license. To make matters worse, the city has been relying on the fact that some of these bloggers are honest and reported the tiny bit of revenue they made, in order to send them demand letters that they go register for a business license. Nice way to convince people (a) not to blog and (b) not to bother with Philly. It really is amazing how confused various governments are in an internet age where it’s easy for lots of people to make little bits of money on the side. They simply can’t figure out that such things are not a “business.” We’ve seen the same thing in the past with various local governments demanding that folks selling on eBay need to get an auctioneer’s license. And then some people wonder why citizens are fed up with their government representatives?

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Comments on “Philadelphia Demanding Business License For Bloggers Who Bring In A Bit Of Cash”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Government always finds a need for whatever money it gets.
Ronald Reagan

Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.
Ronald Reagan

Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a loud voice at one end and no responsibility at the other.
Ronald Reagan

I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US Congress.
Ronald Reagan

It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.
Ronald Reagan

Man is not free unless government is limited.
Ronald Reagan

No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth!
Ronald Reagan

No mother would ever willingly sacrifice her sons for territorial gain, for economic advantage, for ideology.
Ronald Reagan

One way to make sure crime doesn’t pay would be to let the government run it.
Ronald Reagan

He said all those things and still managed to F. up, still those words sound true today and that is what it counts, he was a lying bastard but it doesn’t make those statements untrue.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re:

He said all those things and still managed to F. up, still those words sound true today and that is what it counts, he was a lying bastard but it doesn’t make those statements untrue.

Remember he was an actor and thus his profession was lying. Also I suspect most of those lines were written by his scriptwriters.

I actually think that he was (personally) a decent enough person – unfortunately he was caught up in a rightwing milieu that he wasn’t smart enough to see through. On the few occasions when he did something on his own his instincts seem to have been good. He very nearly fixed relations with the USSR (the walk in the woods) before his horrified minders pulled him back.

Mark says:

Re: Re:

I think your comments are interesting, however, I would argue that gov’t is not a thing. All those comments apply to what one would term as the masses. In general, Americans are like children who think everything shoudl be handed to them. Our mothers spoiled us as children and now we think we need not do anything. The govenment beast has been created by its people. BTW, if you look at Reagon’s actual economic policy, it’s quite similiar to what Obama is doing. Yes that’s right – I know conservative woudl faint, but look at the explosion of the budget deficit under Reagon.

Anonymous Coward says:

The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.
Ronald Reagan

The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.
Ronald Reagan

Today, if you invent a better mousetrap, the government comes along with a better mouse.
Ronald Reagan

Trust, but verify.
Ronald Reagan

When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.
Ronald Reagan

Richard (profile) says:


Governments are confused as well as greedy and tend to try to push all the risk elsewhere. The UK government still can’t work out whether ZOPA lenders require a consumer credit license (the answer should be simply NO – since ZOPA itself looks after all the issues) – so it leaves us in a situation where its our responsibility to decide whether we need one or not – they won’t tell us or offer any guidance – but they reserve the right to tell us we were wrong at a later date!

Anonymous Coward says:

An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. If more govts started doing this it could eventually serve as a huge disincentive to allow anyone to start hosting blogs even, only allowing the rich and the powerful, who will likely censor anything that they don’t like, to host blogs. This could wind up as a huge impediment to free speech. Think I’m over reacting, just look at how governments and big corporations have destroyed free speech on public airwaves, cableco infrastructure, and even newspapers.

out_of_the_blue says:

A caution for those who say "I've nothing to hide" .

This is the dark side of the internet, as it’s switched from a new freedom to a computerized *control* grid.

The tiniest bit of information you tell gov’t *will* be used against you, for taxes if not criminal. They pay people to sit around and think up new ways to “eat out our substance”.

Also fits with current moves to license blogs and journalists.

You obliquely point up how pernicious Google is. From my casual looking, Google has code in about half of blogs, and presumably pays something. — So be sure to declare it even if pennies, because won’t be long before IRS has that info, if doesn’t already, and use that as leverage…

CJ (profile) says:

what jerks

For a long time now many law makers have tried everything they could to get bloggers to disclose who they are. They don’t like bloggers that post anonymously. So create a law that affects the bloggers. What better law to produce. Tax them, and you have all of their info. Or create a way they can make no money, and therefore be less believable. So they killed two birds with one stone. Way to go Philly! You have been had! So much for free speech in Philly.

Tetsubo (profile) says:

The Gipper

Prior to the Bush II administration, I considered the Reagan administration to be the most corrupt within the past century. ‘W’ of course made him look like a Boy Scout. But Reagan was an evil man. He trained terrorists on American soil and then released them onto the world. His economic ‘policies’ laid the foundation for the destruction of the American middle class. His handling of the AIDS crisis should go down in history as an example of how not to deal with an emerging disease. In short, everything he touched was tainted forever. He was a horrible president and a morally reprehensible human being. Yet the right has turned him into a saint. It disgusts me and reminds me regularly why I will never support a conservative candidate.

Tim K (profile) says:

Tip of the iceberg

A tax on bloggers here is just the tip of the problem with Philly’s government. The revenue tax is not new, they are only seeking new “businesses” to hit with it. The city taxes ANY business….be that large or small, based on REVENUE. That’s right….you could lose money, but if you generate ANY revenue you are taxed on it. What a wonderful way to encourage new businesses, particularly start-ups, considering that most new businesses lose money to begin with. And people here wonder where all the jobs are and why all the business is in the suburbs and surrounding states. Philly deserves what it gets. The icing on the cake is that they call it a “Business Privilege License”….what a privilege it is.

-Philadelphia born, raised and disgusted.

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