Tag Archives: taxes

Philly requiring bloggers to pay 300 for a business license Washington Examiner

Philly requiring bloggers to pay 300 for a business license Washington Examiner.

I can understand governments wanting to access potential revenue streams whenever and wherever possible, but is it too much to ask them to exercise some common sense in the process? Wait, sorry, forgot for a moment that I was talking about a government operation.

Personal blogs are not money generators, even if they have adds on the page. If they make any money at all from those adds it might be enough to pay for services, but even that is usually a stretch.

Professional blogs however have the potential to be money generators, and are often treated as newspaper editorial columns. Blogs like that are typically part of a larger network (Gawker Media anyone), and the bloggers are treated as journalists by the network, and are even typically paid for their contributions. Their legal status as journalists is currently under examination, and while many treat them as journalists and feel that they should be protected by the same laws that protect journalists, their legal status as such is far from conclusive.

Is it right for a government to charge a blogger for a business license? I think that before they can do that they need to legally classify a blog as a business, therefore giving them the legal groundwork to actually tax it as a business. Then there is the additional consideration of whether or not the blog has to be hosted on local servers to qualify as a business in the community attempting to tax it. If the host server is in another state, would it still count as a local business, or would it be considered a business in the state where the host server is housed? Lots of questions that really should be addressed before taxation is rolled out.

I suspect that before long we will see a group such as the Internet Freedom Foundation stepping in to offer to fight for the rights of these bloggers, and force the city to back off. Until then…we shall have to see.


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President Obama signs $26 billion jobs bill to aid state payrolls

President Obama signs $26 billion jobs bill to aid state payrolls

via President Obama signs $26 billion jobs bill to aid state payrolls.

Yet another disturbing point on many counts. However, given a choice between this and bailing out the auto industry, this was the better choice…had we been given one. What none of this is addressing is the policies that have created the need in the first place. You can’t just throw money at it and hope that it will all go away. Unfortunately too many people just can’t seem to see that, and the end result is that we see more and more government spending.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that anything that helps keep teachers in the classroom is fantastic. For that matter, as a displaced worker who’s unemployment was about to run out, the extension that was just signed in last month makes me a direct beneficiary of these spending programs.

However, the underlying problem in this particular situation is a deep one that exists on many different levels. State governments really need to be more creative on how they use the tax money they receive, and Oregon is one of the worst at being effective with this money. Taxpayers need to be willing to look past the immediate hit on their wallets and truly consider the trickle down impact on decisions to decline tax increases.

A deeper issue is one of trust. From a purely personal perspective, I have an extremely difficult time approving any kind of tax increase in a state that has proven time and again that it really can’t be trusted with the money that it already receives. Until I feel that I can trust my state government with more money I will be extremely reticent to approve any kind of tax increase without a very clear spending path and believable,¬†enforceable¬†penalties for mismanagement of the funds.

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