Here’s a best-of post from 2010…
With Philadelphia’s recent decision to charge bloggers a $300 business privilege tax, battle lines are being drawn on Blogging as a First Amendment Free Press activity. There is no attempt to determine which blogs are “businesses” and which are simply the hobby of local writers. Instead, Philadelphia’s government has declared that ALL bloggers in the city to be businesses, whether they are hobbyists who have never made a cent blogging, or are professional bloggers working for Public Relations firms.
Philadelphia’s Mayor’s press secretary commented that “Philadelphia has always had a business privilege tax, and anyone who makes money has to pay”. The flaw with this thinking is that not all bloggers make (or even attempt to make) money. In fact, of 20 Million Bloggers in the United States, only 8.5% (1.7 million) make any money at all blogging, and only 2.25% (452,000) make enough to call blogging their career. (Numbers from the Wall Street Journal) Extrapolating from these national numbers, it looks like the city of Philadelphia wants to shake down over 90% of the bloggers in the “City of Brotherly Love” who make no money at all. For hobby bloggers who may pay a few hundred dollars a year for hosting, domain names, and such, and make no attempt to earn any money from their blogs, adding an additional $300 Business Privilege Tax may well force them to silence themselves.
- Blogging: What It Is, What It’s Not, and Why We Even Bother (psychologytoday.com)
- Versatile Bloggers (myblogexactly.wordpress.com)
- Strange Reasons Why People Quit Blogging All of a Sudden (mokshis.com)