Taxing Dissent to Death: The Blog Tax

The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to
destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing. JOHN ADAMS (1735-1826), 1765.

This is  one way to shut the opposition up.

Pay Up

Got a blog that makes no money? The city wants $300, thank you very much.

by Valerie Rubinsky

August 18, 2010

Taxes

[ death and taxes ]

For the past three years, Marilyn Bess has operated MS Philly Organic, a small, low-traffic blog that features occasional posts about green living, out of her Manayunk home. Between her blog and infrequent contributions to ehow.com, over the last few years she says she’s made about $50. To 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.

Do we doubt that the air we breathe will be taxed?

. . .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.

What lesson will we take away from this?

. . .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.

Be LESS Dutiful!

Read more

2 responses to “Taxing Dissent to Death: The Blog Tax

  1. Great article-Thanks!

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