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By Wyatt Earp | August 22, 2010

Are you a Philly blogger? If so, Mayor Squidward is coming for you. And as usual, he has his hands out.

You may want to break out the duct tape, gang, because you’re going to need it. :

This is ridiculous. The City of Philadelphia (run by progressives and liberals) is telling bloggers they have to pay $300 per year for a business license. Let me tell you, blogging is not very lucrative, and this will cost blogs that don’t generate a ton of traffic more than they earn:

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, 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.

“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.

You know, I sometimes joke that I hate this town, its one-party system, and its rampant corruption. Usually it is just me letting off steam, but it’s not a joke anymore. You may not know this, but there is an annual fee to maintain this site and keep the url. Not to mention the countless hours I spend writing posts, replying to comments, and searching for interesting, blogworthy links. And this blog makes $0 a year.

Let Philadelphia try to extort $300 from me. They can pry it from my cold, dead hands.

Topics: Philly |

46 Responses to “Attention Philly Bloggers: The Taxman Cometh”

  1. Kitty Says:
    August 22nd, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Holy crap! I can see this idea metastasizing like a cancer to many other states, especially the other blue states. Is this how they’ll shut down conservative voices?

  2. Wes S. Says:
    August 22nd, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    “Extort” is the right word for it. Bess needs a lawyer, not an accountant.

    …I gather from the article that they’re targeting bloggers who report any income from advertising revenue (Google Ads or whatnot). That’s the equivalent of taxing somebody for having a bumper sticker on their car.

    Next step will doubtless be imposing taxes on all the teenagers and college kids with a Facebook page or Twitter account…

  3. Randal Graves Says:
    August 22nd, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh Philadelphia !

  4. USAdmiral Says:
    August 22nd, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    This idea is going to catch on, everywhere too.

  5. Mrs. Crankipants Says:
    August 22nd, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    If he wants to turn the city around, chasing out the computer literate is not the way to go.

    Philadelphia’s “Business Privilege Tax” — a .19% tax on business receipts even if a business makes no profit, as well as a 6.5% tax on business income if it does, should be eliminated if Nutter wants to encourage job growth in Philadelphia. Taxing bloggers isn’t going to pull us out of the hole we’re in.

  6. JT Says:
    August 22nd, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    Mrs. C – my belt sander is always at your disposal.

  7. Rick Says:
    August 22nd, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    If it happens in Indiana,I am screwed.

  8. Bitter Says:
    August 22nd, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    And this is one of many reasons why we’ll stay comfortably out in the suburbs.

    I feel for y’all who live there, I really do. How you keep your sanity (and your money) is beyond me.

  9. Wyatt Earp Says:
    August 22nd, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Kitty – It’s how they’ll shut down all voices. The Fairness Doctrine in full effect!

    Wes S. – Technically, they want to charge you for a business license, as opposed to a tax, but you get the gist of it. I guess Mayor Nutter thinks bloggers can quit their jobs because of the revenue we pull in.

    Randal – Oh, you want to move back.

    USAdmiral – It’s about time Philadelphia is a trend-setter. We usually follow Detroit . . . into the gutter.

    Mrs. Crankipants – Silly Earthling. Since when have Democrats gone against new taxes? Despite all of the evidence to the contrary, they think taxing their way to the black is possible.

    JT – Does Target sell factory-second belts now, and do you have to wear the belt for it to be sanded?

    Rick – If they’re going after blogs that make money, I’m gold. If they go after everyone, it’s goodbye SYLG. I’ll quit first.

    Bitter – Psst! Swiss Bank accounts!!!

  10. Mrs. Crankipants Says:
    August 22nd, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Thanks, that’s very sweet JT, but I have a Makita 9404- it rocks!

  11. Lonely Conservative Says:
    August 22nd, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Thanks for the link. I used to live in Havertown, so I try to keep up with what’s happening in your neck of the woods.

    Now we live in NY, upstate, but still. That’s why I call myself the lonely conservative. There aren’t a whole lot of us in this state. Which is why we have such high taxes and send bums to Washington, DC.

  12. Says:
    August 22nd, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    [...] Support Your Local Gun Slinger linked also – and he’s not happy about this since he’s a Philly blogger. From what I can tell he’s not of the liberal or progressive persuasion.

  13. Ferrell Gummitt Says:
    August 22nd, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    Why do I have a feeling that right now somewhere in Chicago; Mayor Richie Daley is in a smoke filled room saying something like “Hey, do you see what Mayor Putter, Nutter whatever is doing in Philly?. Why can’t we do that too? We could make it a Property tax.

  14. Wyatt Earp Says:
    August 22nd, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    LC – You’re welcome. I live in Northeast Philly, and to answer your question, I’m a dyed in the wool conservative. If I wasn’t employed by the Philly PD, I would have escaped this town a long time ago.

    Ferrell – He’ll find a way to put the graft directly into his pants pockets.

  15. bob (either orr) Says:
    August 22nd, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Mayor Squidward just wants more Crabby Patties, that’s all.
    What a disgusting person!

  16. piperfromtn Says:
    August 22nd, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Come on down south to TN, Wyatt. You’re welcome in NASCAR country anytime. At the moment, we don’t pay state taxes and the cost of living is lowest of about any state. Besides, you’ll be treated as a non-sequitur by elite fly-over liberals, just like the rest of us.

  17. Smite A. Hippie Says:
    August 22nd, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    From a city run by Democrats for generations… shocker…

    I guess they’re trying to have a pissing contest with New York. heh.

  18. Wyatt Earp Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Bob – And to think, I thought he would be MUCH BETTER than John Street.

    Piper – Mmm . . . Bristol night race! *drools*

    Smite – Going on 60 years of uninterrupted Dem rule. Hooray.

  19. Old NFO Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 1:49 am

    Aw damn…

  20. JT Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 7:04 am

    Wyatt – I’ve only ever been to Target once.

    Seriously, isn’t there some way around this ?

    What would stop a philly blogger from uploading from the ‘burbs ?

  21. JT Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 7:04 am

    Mrs. C – you wouldn’t happen to have a tamper, would ya ?

  22. RogerDee Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Wyatt goes underground, Dems panic……

  23. Mrs. Crankipants Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 8:30 am

    JT- I have one for espresso, but not one for digging. Sorry!

  24. AJ Lynch Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 8:48 am

    I am curious as to how the city got the names and addresses of the bloggers. Did Blogger or Google give it to the city?

  25. Pam Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 9:51 am

    If they’d just stop flushing money down the crapper, maybe they wouldn’t have to dig around in the couch cushions – or rather, stick their grubby paws into the pockets of bloggers like you who do it for fun, not profit.

    What if your server is located OUTSIDE of the city, hmmm?

    Oh, and I’m hoping to have “the project” done by the end of the month. Trying to gather my wits – what’s left of them, anyway.

  26. kaveman Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Well if Nutter is going to get $300 per year for you to have a blog, I should be entitled to at least $100 per year just for reading it.


  27. Smite A. Hippie Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Pam – it wouldn’t matter where a server is housed, the tax is a business “privilege” license. The fact that the blogger is in the city itself, running a “business” would be the condition.

  28. Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    [...] we call “common sense.” And the impact will be felt here in the blogosphere. Wyatt says he’ll quit blogging if they come after him, and but all he’s got is a tip jar. I find his True Detective Stories [...]

  29. JT Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Mrs C – I never knew there was such a thing.

  30. metoo Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Write a letter to the editor and then vote the bum out!!! What circle of hell is Philly????

  31. Woody Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Why shouldn’t you “pay your fair share” Wyatt? As long as they don’t charge this in the Buckeye State I’m all for it.

    Just kidding. I was trying out my Democrat alter ego.

  32. Ralph Short Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Over the years the only thing consistent about democrats is they tax you if you are born, they tax you if you move, they tax you if you buy or sell something, and they tax you when you die.

    They want your money and they don’t care how they get it. Maybe it is a genetic thing. Just a thought.

  33. Lergnom Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Well, if Northeast Philly finally does secede from the city, you’d be off the hook for the BPT, unless they decide to go after city workers with blogs no matter where they live.

    Stay safe

  34. Wyatt Earp Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Old NFO – Shenanigans are afoot.

    JT – Again, SYLG makes no money and the tip jar is rarely tipped. Ni oncome means no license. I should be good – unless the city decides to get all of us.

    RogerDee – Blogging naked, baby!

    AJ – She apparently put her earnings on her tax form. That’s how they got her, I think.

    Pam – That’s the plan. I’ll blog from Bensalem. As for the project . . . whoo hoo!

    Kavemen – I’ll just charge admission. Two bits a gander.

    Smite – Then I have to move the frak out of the city then. Oh what a damned shame that would be.

    MeToo – What editor? The two papers here make the NYT look like

    Woody – After city wage tax, real estate tax, etc, etc, I paid more than my fair share!

    Ralph – The death tax is the most disgusting thing I have ever heard.

    Lergnom – Yeah, I can’t quit. I only have 16 years on.

  35. RT Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    It is a shame that the politicians don’t have to pay a tax for every lie.

  36. Wyatt Earp Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    RT – Philly would be more broke than it already is.

  37. JT Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Sorry Wyatt, I didn’t see the tip jar.

  38. C/A Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Dude I saw this the other night but really thought it was a hoax or something so I let it go. I’ll NEVER pay this tax. Not that my blog makes any money anyway…

  39. C/A Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    PS I’ll quit first. Not that I don’t want to quit everyday anyway… maybe this is the excuse I need!

  40. Wyatt Earp Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    JT – I buried it in the middle of the sidebar and have never once mentioned it. I feel a little smarmy promoting it, but a few people have dropped a dime or two in there, and for that I am grateful.

    Captain – You’d quit and miss it in two days. Too much juicy goodness going on in your department.

  41. cbullitt Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    I was having too much fun with James Cameron and totally missed this Wyatt.
    Sounds like torch and pitchfork time to me. I mean, it’s for the children™, right?

  42. Wyatt Earp Says:
    August 24th, 2010 at 12:15 am

    Cbullitt – Makes me want to punch Paul McCartney for the Tax Man song.

  43. bob (either orr) Says:
    August 24th, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Liberty County, anyone?

  44. chicopanther Says:
    August 25th, 2010 at 8:44 am

    All the Philly bloggers should have their blogs hosted on servers that are NOT located in Philly (nor in the United States). Then all bloggers who blog about Philly merely claim to not actually be in Philly.

    Also, remind the idiots in government about the 1st Amendment, and how you do NOT need a license to exercise your 1st Amendment rights!

    This also sort of reminds one of the time the English government (way back in 1670, I believe) tried to levy a tax on preachers. William Penn refused to pay, went on trial, and the jury said he was “not guilty,” thus establishing the principle of “jury nullification.” If only every potential juror in Philly knew about jury nullification, the bloggers could let the city of Philly take them to court for non payment of the fee, then when every case was dismissed by jurors the city would know they actually had a money losing racket going and would give up.


  45. The Green Police in Philly? | The Daley Gator Says:
    August 29th, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    [...] According To Wyatt, they are and that cannot be good! First, they threatened to force bloggers to purchase a $300 business license fee. Then, they towed away the Cupcake Lady’s truck. Now, they’re fining people for not recycling [...]

  46. Beware The Philly Recycling Police | Support Your Local Gunfighter Says:
    October 30th, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    [...] they threatened to force bloggers to purchase a $300 business license fee. Then, they towed away the Cupcake Lady’s truck. Now, they’re fining people for not [...]