Freedom Of Speech Under Attack As Philadelphia Becomes First City To Impose A Tax On Blogging
I just came across this article on The Intel Hub “Philly Blogger Tax Gets Laughs On Web”.
A City Paper story on Philadelphia’s efforts to tax its blogger population is big news on the Internet – and another national joke about our city.
Last Wednesday, a City Paper column talked about Philadelphia’s effort to get revenue from any blogger who lived in its confines, and who attempts to get some money back from selling ads on a blog.
Technically, the city isn’t levying a tax on bloggers. It is charging a $50 annual fee or a $300 lifetime fee for the privilege of putting advertising links on a blog – even if no one clicks on the links.
But to bloggers, the words “blog tax” resonates and is being used to describe the city’s efforts.
But this is nothing to laugh about.
As Fox News 29 Points out:
City Paper spoke with blogger Marilyn Bess, who has made $50 in the past three years on her blog and now faces a $300 bill from the city for a business privilege license.
Affiliate advertising is very popular on the Internet as a way to pay for monthly hosting fees. People who make serious money on blogs pay income taxes and conduct business as any other taxpayer.
Hobbyists like Bess write blogs because they have strong opinions on topics, or just like to write.
But to the city of Philadelphia, there is apparently no distinction if someone intends to make any money on a blog, even if the ads are never clicked or if the blogger just makes a small amount of money.
That got local bloggers riled up and the story spread over the Internet last weekend.
By Monday, Bess’ story made the mainstream newspapers, and by Tuesday, it was on the Associated Press newsfeed and CNN.
The astute New York Magazine even took Philadelphia to task – on its own blog. It urged Philadelphia bloggers to stop blogging so that the city wouldn’t get the license fees.
Ironically, the city may be finding out about bloggers because they are reporting their tiny income on tax forms.
So far, it doesn’t look like Philadelphia will change its stance.
Many bloggers begin their ventures trying to blog about the topics they are passionate about and can only dream about making any serious revenues from any advertising program on their web sites..
In fact such low revenue such as the $50 Marilyn Bess made over past three years is the norm and not the exception which begs the question why is the tax being imposed on bloggers and not all Philadelphia websites who display ads?
The bottom line is the tax is a direct threat to the freedom of speech.
During the days of the gold rush the fact is most miners made no money and it was companies like Levis who sold materials to the miners that where the ones that became rich.
This is very similar in the fact that many people and businesses go online to try to get their share of the pie only to find out that there is really no money to be made.
But is that stopping the Government from trying to get their share of revenue? Not at all.
While scammers run ponzi schemes and the latest get rich quick schemes and harvest your personal information for resale to the highest bidder the Government is going after those crooks for tax dollars but instead has set its cross hairs on those trying to exercise their constitutional rights.
This is really absurd and is nothing to laugh over.
The truth is that blogoshpere has exploded because less than 1 in 4 people believe the lies that come out of the mainstream media.
Pick your average person and talk to them about the media and most agree the news is spun for a variety of special interests and the good old days of investigative journalism has outright disappeared.
Where the media fails bloggers such as my self and other alternative news outlets fill the void and in my opinion this is nothing more than a move to silence those voices.
This tax will undoubtedly prevent thousands who come up with the idea of starting a blog to see if money can be made from ever even trying in the first place because $300 dollars is a lot of money for many people.
Instead their voices will be silenced, their opinions will never be heard and their knowledge never shared.
This needs to be stopped right here and right now before it becomes the status quo all across the nation.