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.
Reader Trent Nix thinks it’s about more than money:
“One thing that you didn’t mention on Philadelphia requiring bloggers to pay $300 for a “license” is that it has the side effect of giving the city a weapon to use against those pesky anonymous bloggers. If you don’t pay, they have empowered themselves to go after you, attempting to ensure nobody is going to lob any grenades behind the veil of anonymity.
The losers who put this nonsense in place should have their pictures plastered everywhere as enemies to free speech. City politics tend to be the place where the nexus of stupidity and vanity are at their greatest.”
This is one of the reasons that I don’t have tip jars or advertisements, or sponsored Amazon Links. Not much money involved and despite claims from other bloggers. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to keep a blog running. Not at this bandwith yet.