Owners of online news sites that make any profit at all -- even if just a penny -- are required to pay a "privilege license fee" to the city of Philadelphia, plus taxes on the profits. The license fee is $50 a year, or a one-time lifetime fee of $300.
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.
Barry's music-oriented blog, Circle of Fits, is hosted on Blogspot; as of this writing, its home page has two ads on it, but because he gets only a fraction of the already low ad revenue - the rest goes to Blogspot - it's far from lucrative.
It's safe to assume that this will become a popular fee for cities all around the nation.
Connect with Benjamin Hodge at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, The Kansas Progress, and LibertyLinked. Hodge is President of the State and Local Reform Group of Kansas. He served as one of seven at-large trustees at Johnson County Community College from 2005-’09, a member of the Kansas House from 2007-’08, a delegate to the Kansas Republican Party from 2009-’10, and was founder of the Overland Park Republican Party in 2011. His public policy record is recognized by Americans for Prosperity, the Kansas Association of Broadcasters, the Kansas Press Association, the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government, the NRA, Kansans for Life, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).