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Philly requiring bloggers to pay $300 for a business license

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Donnay
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« on: August 22, 2010, 11:16:35 pm »

Philly requiring bloggers to pay $300 for a business license
By: Mark Hemingway
Commentary Staff Writer
08/22/10 5:10 PM EDT

It looks like cash hungry local governments are getting awfully rapacious these days:

    Between her blog and infrequent contributions to ehow.com, over the last few years she says she’s made about $50. To [Marilyn] Bess, her website is a hobby. To the city of Philadelphia, it’s a potential moneymaker, and the city wants its cut.

    In May, the city sent Bess a letter demanding that she pay $300, the price of a business privilege license.

    “The real kick in the pants is that I don’t even have a full-time job, so for the city to tell me to pony up $300 for a business privilege license, pay wage tax, business privilege tax, net profits tax on a handful of money is outrageous,” Bess says.

    It would be one thing if Bess’ website were, well, an actual business, or if the amount of money the city wanted didn’t outpace her earnings six-fold. Sure, the city has its rules; and yes, cash-strapped cities can’t very well ignore potential sources of income. But at the same time, there must be some room for discretion and common sense.

    When Bess pressed her case to officials with the city’s now-closed tax amnesty program, she says, “I was told to hire an accountant.”

    She’s not alone. After dutifully reporting even the smallest profits on their tax filings this year, a number — though no one knows exactly what that number is — of Philadelphia bloggers were dispatched letters informing them that they owe $300 for a privilege license, plus taxes on any profits they made.

    Even if, as with Sean Barry, that profit is $11 over two years.

To say that these kinds of draconian measures are detrimental to the public discourse would be an understatement.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/philly-requiring-bloggers-to-pay-300-for-a-business-license-101264664.html#ixzz0xOoaXwsd
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Femacamper
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2010, 11:20:25 pm »

Speech ain't free in Philly no more.
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Donnay
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2010, 11:46:04 pm »

Speech ain't free in Philly no more.

Sad coming from the town that signed the Bill of Rights, isn't it?
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Religions do a useful thing: they narrow God to the limits of man. Philosophy replies by doing a necessary thing: it elevates man to the plane of God.  ~Victor Hugo

Because one doesn't like the way things are is no reason to be unjust towards God.  ~Victor Hugo
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2010, 11:54:19 pm »

Sad coming from the town that signed the Bill of Rights, isn't it?

"Welcome to the New World Order, bitches!"
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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2010, 09:40:28 am »

Makes me glad I left Philly !
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« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2010, 10:25:07 am »

Doesn't the term "license" mean that they are treating free speech as a privilege to be regulated by the government rather than a right guaranteed by the constitution?
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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2010, 10:38:02 am »

Doesn't the term "license" mean that they are treating free speech as a privilege to be regulated by the government rather than a right guaranteed by the constitution?

Correct!

They are in the wrong and people should take them to court.
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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2010, 12:06:57 pm »

Doesn't the term "license" mean that they are treating free speech as a privilege to be regulated by the government rather than a right guaranteed by the constitution?

101% correct.
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« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2010, 06:42:35 am »

I can see this being fair if she is using ebay and selling.
My business was always part-time and I rarely, if ever made a profit.
Didn't matter.
This is how it's been in Philly, which is why so many self-employed moved to the suburbs and only the courageous live in the City of Brotherly Love  where murder and violence is so rampant that it rarely makes the news.

BTW, I am not defending this tax; I'm just explaining.

And they WILL catch you, sooner or later, and ignore the mob and big drug dealers.
Lots of dirty cops, too.
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