Blogger tax tale was 2G2BT

GJCC.

That’s almost never-used ’net speak for Good job, City Council. In this case it’s for trying to do the right thing on the so-called blogger tax.

Last summer, when word rapidly spread online about a Philadelphia “blogger tax,” there were two reactions: ROFL (rolling on floor laughing), or UGTBK (you’ve got to be kidding), to what seemed to be an attack on new media, the First Amendment, and the entrepreneurial spirit.

However, the story was 2G2BT (too good to be true).

There’s no city tax targeting bloggers. Never was.

What is true is that the COBL (City of Bloggerly Love) requires anyone operating a business to purchase a BPL (business privilege license) — $50 a year or $300 for life. How much the business makes is irrelevant. You open a business, you buy a BPL.

What is also true is that the COBL was cross-checking tax records to see who filed business income or deductions with the feds and hadn’t yet applied for their BPL.

TPTB (the powers that be) then sent out about 30,000 letters to potential BPL purchasers, some of whom happened to be bloggers whose efforts netted them a $ or $$.

In the time it takes to hitch up one’s PJs, COBL’s assault on truth, justice, and the blogger way was blasted nationally.

But while the bloggers were wrong about the tax, the KRFUFL (sound it out) did point out the dismaying possibility that in some cases the COBL was making residents buy a BPL for what amounted to a hobby.

Enter CBG (Councilman Bill Green), who introduced a bill to exempt hobbyists and not-for-profits from needing a BPL, and put the burden of proving an entity is a business on the COBL, if annual receipts are $3,000 or less. (That’s not a wholesale exemption, though. For example, if you make $100 on your blog and deduct related expenses with the feds, you could be declared a business.)

The $$COM (finance committee) OK’d the measure this week, and it deserves the support of the CC17 (17 members of City Council) and MAYNUT (Mayor Nutter).

Then let all of the COBL, residents and avatars alike, rise up and text:

KUTGW (keep up the good work).

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