Bloggers Told to Pay Up and Get a Business License, Or Else

The Philadelphia City Paper is reporting that Philly is requiring bloggers to get a $300 business license in order to operate their blogs.

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...

She's not alone. 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.

Even if, as with Sean Barry, that profit is $11 over two years.

This seems kind of outrageous to me but may be a sign of things to come for blogdom. I'm actually surprised at how many small readership blogs have advertising. I can't imagine most of them are making more than a couple bucks a year. In my opinion, blogging makes a terrible business but it makes a great avenue for community involvement, personal discipline and just all around fun.