Philly Wants Bloggers to Pay $300 Tax

Are you a blogger in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania? Do you have Google Adsense or some other sort of low-return ads on your blog? If so expect a letter soon from your friendly city treasurer demanding that you pay a $300 tax on your “money making business.”

For most people that maintain an active blog it is just a hobby. Some people blog daily but most only do so a few times a month. Many bloggers also participate in Google’s advertising program called Adsense but few make much more than $20 or $30 a year from the effort.

But according to the City of Philadelphia, you have a lucrative business one that you need to register with the city and either pay $50 a year tax or a “lifetime” fee of $300 to be allowed to operate.

Naturally the Philly bloggers that have gotten this letter are flabbergasted. None of them were even aware they have a taxable business with their blog. Ah, but the city disagrees.

Even though small-time bloggers aren’t exactly raking in the dough, the city requires privilege licenses for any business engaged in any “activity for profit,” says tax attorney Michael Mandale of Center City law firm Mandale Kaufmann. This applies “whether or not they earned a profit during the preceding year,” he adds.

And America’s cities wonder why people won’t start businesses in them? This sort of lunacy is simply penalizing entrepreneurship at even the tiniest level. Like the story of the seven-year-old girl whose lemonade stand was shut down by City Health inspectors a few weeks ago, this Philly story shows that there isn’t an ounce of decency or common sense in government. It is also just another sign of how out of control government in America has become.

Additionally, this is one sure way to shut down any political blogger in the city, isn’t it? Who would pay $50 a year to rant about government? Few would bother if they were forced to pay to blog.

Warner Todd Huston

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's, and all Breitbart News' other sites,,, and many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs across the country to discuss his opinion editorials and current events as well as appearing on TV networks such as CNN, Fox News, Fox Business Network, and various Chicago-based news programs. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on He is also the owner and operator of Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston and follow him on Twitter, on Google Plus , and Facebook.

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