Licensing Bloggers

The inaptly named City of Brotherly Love is attempting to license bloggers.  If bloggers make any money from their blogs, they will have to pay a $300.00 “business privilege tax” to obtain a business privilege license.  (I rather like the Orwellian term “business privilege”, as if the right to buy and to sell was some sort of gift of the State.)   Go here to read the details at the Philadelphia Citypaper.

Just how many things are wrong about this?  Let us count the ways:

1.  Blogging has become an essential part of gaining information about public affairs for many people.  It provides endless sources of both information and  misinformation with consumers completely free to glean truth from falsity for themselves.  Attempts by government to tax bloggers, in addition to income taxes, will drive many bloggers out of the hobby\business and lessen the chief  good feature of blogging:  endless sources.

2.  Malicious governments could simply use this mechanism to rid themselves of troublesome blogs that reveal governmental misdeeds to public light.

3.  The freedom of the internet is rather a trite saying, but it is also true.  Attempts by government to regulate it deters from this freedom, and stifles one of the driving forces of creativity in our society.

4.  Most bloggers, if they make any money at all, make only small sums, and $300.00 is draconian in comparison to those small sums.

5.  Internet taxation is the El Dorado for greedy cash-strapped governments, and let them get their foot in the door and they will continually be attempting to mine what they view as an endless source of revenue.

Some ideas are good, some ideas are bad and some ideas are so bad that only a government committee could come up with them.

6 Responses to Licensing Bloggers

  1. T. Shaw says:

    I’m generally opposed.

    However, the government needs the money to provide for us.

    They could charge commie blogs, like vox nobrains, $3,000.00. Alternatively, they could impose an ad hominem tax – either payable by the word (VN’ers use 5,000 words to diss you – or some other measure. That could work.

  2. Phillip says:

    Perhaps it could be a progressive tax. Those blogs seeking an even greater redistibution of wealth then currently occurs will be taxed. The more posts on increasing taxes the more they pay.

    Only seems just.

  3. Foxfier says:

    Why, Phillip, what a lovely notion!

    Let’s take it further, model it after the very progressive tax we have from the feds– charge the top earning blogs, but give rebates to the bottom…what….15%?


  4. Don the Kiwi says:

    Bloggers just move out of city limits.
    Surely Philly isn’t that hard up.

  5. Pauli says:

    They’re scared.

    There would appear to be a lot of loopholes to get out of this, at least for bloggers that didn’t advertise that they were from Philly.

  6. largebill says:

    This is standard short sighted political action. T. Shaw above makes a valid point that government must be funded somehow to provide the necessary services. However, is there a specific blogger related service the government provides (other than comic fodder)? Beyond that, I imagine Philadelphia is suffering from the same problem Cincinnati has with urban flight. Many large municipalities like Cincinnati have incurred massive obligations (primarily overly generous pensions) after decades of liberal leadership. Who owes that money? Basically the tax payer. However, when it is local or state debt, the tax payer can escape the debt by moving. I live in a township around 25 miles north of Cincinnati. 25 years ago our population was less than 10 thousand people. Today it is above 60 thousand and growing. What is Cincinnati’s solution? Raise the price of parking downtown and increase other taxes. Sure that will get people to visit downtown and spend money shopping. Take a look at the wreckage left behind in Detroit. That is what other major cities have to look forward to. Detroit just took the expressway to that destination. Will the blogger license fee cause people to move out of Philadelphia? Not by itself, but it is a cumulative effect. I’m sure they are attacking their citizens wallets in many other ways to pay for the voracious growth of government.

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