Blogger tax story outruns the truth

    A curious response from the city of Philadelphia is feeding the story.

    Philadelphia has endured a torrent of negative press this week over reports that the city is demanding $300 apiece from bloggers.

    The furor arose after the weekly City Paper reported that the city was sending bloggers letters telling them they owe $300 for a business license and taxes on their ad sales. City officials said there was no program targeting bloggers, and WHYY was unable to find a single blogger who’d gotten such a letter.

    Of the two bloggers quoted in the City Paper, one had received nothing from the city. The other got a form letter the city sends to federal tax filers who may not have reported income to the city. It never mentioned blogging.

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    But rather than assure bloggers he wasn’t after them, Mayor Nutter said, the rules are the rules:

    “If you’re generating income you should be paying taxes like everyone else. That’s what all this is about.”

    Revenue officials say while it’s technically true that bloggers who sell ads qualify as businesses, the city has no campaign to find bloggers and make them ante up.

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