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â€˜Blogger tax:â€™ bill creating business privilege license exemption for â€˜hobbiesâ€™ faces City Council vote
Mike Lyons and his wife run West Philly Local, a blog that covers news in West Philadelphia.
His site has been up for just three months and gets a modest 800 to 900 unique visitors a day. Although Lyons hopes to monetize the site in the future, it has yet to make any profit.
For bloggers like Lyons, the year-long dispute concerning the city’s so-called ‘blogger tax’ has caused a great deal of confusion.
But new legislation introduced by Councilman Bill Green could keep Lyons and other hobbyists, including bloggers, from being required to apply and pay for a city business privilege license.
In case you missed it, the controversy began last summer when a round of letters from the City of Philadelphia began to ask bloggers (who disclosed on federal tax returns income from blogs) that they apply for the city’s $50 one-year or $300 lifetime business privilege license. These letters were sent to some who made far less money from their blog than the cost of the license itself, many of them characterized their websites as hobby, like Lyons does for now.