Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter defended the city’s recent efforts to make bloggers pay for business licenses:
“If you’re paying taxes to the federal government, you should be paying taxes to the city of Philadelphia,” Nutter asserted. “Whether you’re blogging or manufacturing or catering or whatever it is you’re doing. This is about business. If you are in business, making money, then you should operate in accordance with every other business in the city of Philadelphia, and get a Business Privilege License.”
The mayor added, “If we had exceptions based on certain types of business, I think if you are a manufacturer, if you are a retailer, if you’re someone who is playing by the rules, making money, paying taxes and all of the sudden we’re not requiring the same of all businesses across the board, you would be standing here, Bruce, asking me, why is the city not enforcing its own regulations with regard to people filing taxes with the feds, paying their federal taxes, and not paying them to the city.”
This is, of course, an absurd defense of what’s going on. It would be one thing if bloggers who made lots of money weren’t paying taxes. However, forcing bloggers who give of their time in energy to write about events in their neighborhood or contribute to the cultural/political discussion to pay for a $300 business license when they’ve made only $11 in profit over a period of years is just plain greedy government.