Oh yes, that’ll sort out the city budget deficits. Philadelphia is extorting business taxes from the city’s bloggers…

“For the past three years, Marilyn Bess has operated MS Philly Organic, a small, low-traffic blog that features occasional posts about green living, out of her Manayunk home. Between her blog and infrequent contributions to ehow.com, over the last few years she says she’s made about $50. To Bess, her website is a hobby. To the city of Philadelphia, it’s a potential moneymaker, and the city wants its cut. In May, the city sent Bess a letter demanding that she pay $300, the price of a business privilege license. […] Even though small-time bloggers aren’t exactly raking in the dough, the city requires [business] privilege licenses for any business engaged in any “activity for profit”.

An intelligent city authority would actually pay local bloggers to write about the city, or support them with targeted advertising.

Of course, we potentially have a similar ridiculous state of affairs looming in the UK — expect people to get their dole cut because they ‘earn’ (if only £10 a year) from their blog or from a few Amazon affiliate links on their website. They’ll be easy pickings for the box-tickers who have been employed to try to track down the real benefit cheats.