Philadelphia Charging Bloggers $300 for Business License

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*ponders this*

A billboard... taking up physical space... on city property... being rented out...

THAT is a business, definitely.


A child on a street corner selling lemonade... Why is this NOT a business?


The internet provides opportunities to make money, and when adults make money, we consider them responsible for that income. However, restricting the methods of acquiring income can divest the affluent of desires to take risk and engage in innovative behaviors. In this case, the permits necessary to 'do business,' are far higher than those involved would ever make in the process.

What are the solutions?

Reduce the cost of permits for everyone? Well, the state needs that money for services and employee wages.

Create exempt categories? Perhaps, 'artists,' are liberated from these restrictions. However, this business wasn't art, it was the sale of advertisement space based on commission.

Perhaps a rebate system: if the proposed company does not make more per year than the cost of the permit, the cost of the permit is refunded.

Lastly, and perhaps least fair: the bloggers could ditch the advertisements and accept that they cannot earn money for their blogging behaviors without sponsorship.

...are they insane? Why not tax kids running lemonade stands then? They're making money, aren't they? Who cares if its for charity, there's money!

Heh, okay, so everyone moves out of Philadelphia, or hosts the server on an external server outside of Philly, problem solved. Way to go, idiots.

Silly lawmakers, intelligence is not for you!

The problem with this plan is that the location of the server has no impact on the fee as it is based upon the location of the proprieter of the "business", and not the disposition of their assets.

This is a terrible idea and a great example of how overblown has the government become... and not only the U.S.

Not enough money, oh government? Lose some fat.

Too true unfortunately, and I would guess that most of the people making these laws have little to no familiarity with the environment they effect.

This is a bad joke right? This isn't true right? I mean... they really can't be this inhumanly stupid right? ...right?

Andy Chalk:
A proposed update to the law would eliminate the tax on the first $100,000 of profit but would still require bloggers to purchase a license. City Councilor Bill Green, one of the council members who put forth the proposal, suggested that bloggers who didn't want to cough up $300 for a lifetime business privilege license could instead opt for a $50 yearly plan.

I'm surprised no one has comment on this yet. What a fucking douche. Seriously, it's like he's out to win the Biggest Douche in the Universe contest. Here we have bloggers complaining about having to pay $300 for a business license when the ads bring-in less than $10 a year, and he's telling them that one solution is a plan that costs $50 a year? Honestly? Did he listen to himself as he was speaking, or was he just kind of going in auto-mode and spitting-out some pre-written garble?

He seriously could not have missed the point more if, as Yahtzee once put it, he had fired in the wrong direction, and the point was in another country all-together. Yes, I agree with the bunch that are saying one solution is to just pull the ads and/or stop blogging, but you guys grasp the point of this just about as well as Bill Green up there.

I'm hoping that there's a big law suit about this and the city has to pay-out for grieving innocent citizens for something as simple as keeping a blog.

Uber Waddles:
Poll taxes were made illegal because they restricted voters rights.

This is no different. It can be seen as a way to restrict freedom of speech. So it will be over-turned.

A blog is not a specific business, and even if it was it is located on the Internet, not Philidelphia. It will never hold up.

Legally it's quite different, and there's a constitutional amendment eliminating poll taxes (off the top of my head, I think it's the 18th (whichever one came between the establishment and repeal of prohibition)). That said, this quite clearly a free speech issue, (with a possible side of interfering in interstate commerce).

Judas Iscariot:
Wow... what cunts. Whats next? Gonna try to charge kids mowing lawns for pocket money?

Shh... don't give them any ideas.

Way to forget your roots, Philadelphia. The day Boston tries this dick move would be the day I know this country isn't what it should be anymore.
On the upside, bloggers have another thing to blog about now. The revolution will be blogged.
Couldn't help myself.

Part of me wonders why this wouldn't just fall under general income tax.
Flat fees are a really stupid way to deal with this.

The words "lawful stupid" spring to mind here. These laws were never designed with bloggers or New Media in mind - either update them or don't apply them at all. If the only reason for something is "there's a law" then there clearly shouldn't be one.

The Rogue Wolf:
Unfortunately, Philadelphia has spent decades running itself into the ground with crooked politicians, scandals, corruption and nepotism. (I should know; I grew up in New Jersey, where state government tries very very hard to be even worse.) It wouldn't surprise me if this was a desperate money grab to help prop up the city coffers. Drowning man, floating stick, et cetera. I mean, apparently for next year's budget, the mayor is proposing a 2-cent-per-ounce tax on "sugary drinks" and a $300 yearly trash fee.

The sugary drink tax is thanks to Pittsburgh Mayor, Luke Ravenstahl as he is pushing something very similar in Pittsburgh. The 'brilliant' mind behind the attempted Pittsburgh Higher Ed tax (

Pittsburgh's government is woefully inept, but I'll keep my biting remarks about the competency of Ravenstahl to myself. Looks like Philly is following suit.

AHAHAHAHAHAHA just how HIGH do you even have to BE to DO something like that

Can't you just get a P.O. Box outside the city and register your "business" address there?

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