To Marilyn Bess, her website is a hobby. Between her blog and infrequent contributions to ehow.com, over the last few years she says she'Âï½ÂÂ½ÃÂ(TM)s made about $50. To the city of Philadelphia, it'Âï½ÂÂ½ÃÂ(TM)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. According to Andrea Mannino of the Philadelphia Department of Revenue, in fact, simply choosing the option to make money from ads â" regardless of how much or little money is actually generated â" qualifies a blog as a business.