Tuesday, August 24, 2010

City Of Brotherly Love- No Love For Bloggers

Posted by Katie Noonan

Philadelphia is taking some heat this week after an article published in Philadelphia City Paper addressed the ramifications of the city's business privilege tax on bloggers who call the city home.

The Business Privilege Tax is an effort by the city of Philadelphia to garner revenue from individuals who engage in "activity for profit." Accordingly, bloggers who reside within city limits and have either real or potential profit from blogging are subject to pay a privilege license of either a one-time fee of $300, or $50 annually, in addition to a percentage of gross receipts and/or taxable net income, depending on the nature of the business, according to Mashable's Christina Warren.

The privilege tax has long been a source of controversy in Philadelphia, but seems especially preposterous in this case because of the potential it creates to tax individuals who make little to nothing from a recreational activity like blogging. Ostensibly, those who use Google Adsense on their blogs and make about 10 bucks for doing so could be subject to the tax.

Moreover, president and CEO of Furia Rubel, Gina Rubel raises the point- what if someone doesn't advertise on their blog, but uses it as a platform to position his or herself as a thought-leader in an industry. Doing so would undoubtedly create the potential for "real or potential profit," would the city attempt to tax that? It's a gray area, but they are individuals who would stand to gain a lot more from blogging than the person who blogs about restaurants they visit or their views on the Eagles preseason and uses Google Adsense on his or her blog.

It's a controversial move on the part of the city of Philadelphia, but what do you think- is it as unfair as some bloggers say it is? Feel free to leave your comments here or share your thoughts on Twitter @FuriaRubel.

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