The Phaserl


Children Now Face Fines & Arrest If They Don’t Get a Permit to Mow Grass for Money

by Jay Syrmopoulos, The Free Thought Project:

Gardendale, AL — A regular summer right of passage for motivated teenagers across the United States in search of some extra spending money has always been cutting the neighbors grass. However, teens in Gardendale, Alabama, and many other cities across the United States, are about to get a rude lesson in how government overregulation stifles personal and financial growth.

Local officials and area law services have reportedly warned area teens that without a business license issued by the city, which costs $110, they are in violation of a city ordinance, thus violating the law, if they attempt to cut grass without a license.

It’s patently absurd that local teenagers can’t make a private agreement with a neighbor to mow a lawn without the government sanctioning the transaction by inserting themselves as the arbiter of who is allowed to legitimately cut grass.

Mowing grass in the summer is often one of the first jobs a motivated teenager will engage in during their summer break from school. But, with a business license costing $110 for a job that will likely be ongoing for a few short months in the summer, the cost will likely drive many ambitious entrepreneurial teens away from what would likely be a rewarding experience.

I have never heard of a child cutting grass having to have a business license,” Elton Campbell, whose granddaughter, Alainna Parris, mows a few lawns around the neighborhood, told ABC-33/40.

“She charges one lady $20, and another lady $30, and another girl $40 besides what we pay her,” said Campbell.

The teen is disappointed as she felt like this was the perfect way for her to make some extra money during the summer.

“Just helping out and raising money for admissions and trips,” said Alainna Parris.

According to Campbell, Parris is allegedly being targeted by someone upset by the competition from the teen. That person is using the power of the state to eliminate his competition.

“One of the men that cuts several yards made a remark to one of our neighbors, ‘that if he saw her cutting grass again that he was going to call Gardendale because she didn’t have a business license,’” said Campbell.

Campbell called out the irony of trying to prevent a child from taking on a summer job, when they show an internal drive and take the initiative, as so many teenagers are not engaging in enterprising behavior, or taking on additional responsibilities, during their summer break.

“He’s coming after a kid when a kid is at least trying to do work. There’s kids at home on iPads and electronics and not wanting to go outside,” said Parris.

Mayor Stan Hogeland weighed in on the controversy, noting that when operating a business for pay within the city limits, you must have a business license. But, he also said that sending law enforcement after a child trying to earn extra money in the summer is not a priority. Unfortunately, however, if children do resist this tax on their entrepreneurial spirit — police force will most assuredly come. These children would most assuredly face at the very least, a fine, and possibly even arrest.

Hogeland stated he’s committed to finding a way to resolve this issue. But, of course, the government still wants its cut, so he will explore the possibility of a temporary license for summer months that targets entrepreneurial youth.

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1 comment to Children Now Face Fines & Arrest If They Don’t Get a Permit to Mow Grass for Money

  • Craig Escaped Detroit

    Here is one LEGAL way around this crap.

    One person, (over 18) gets a company business / name registered .. perhaps call it “yard work company”. In Detroit, it used to cost just $5 to register a DBA (doing business as… commonly referred to as a “sole proprietorship”).. it’s NOT a corporation and gives NO protection against liabilities… and then this “company person” goes to the clerk’s office and purchases the Business License for cutting grass or doing other work in the jurisdiction.

    Anyway, register this low cost company, and the company can open a bank account, put cars or houses in the company name, buy car insurance… OR.. hire YARD WORKER CONTRACTORS.

    You can have a 100 kids, each with a COPY of the business registration, and he can do all the yard work available and claim he is a private contractor working for The COMPANY.
    Do not claim to be an “employee” because that triggers all kind of other tax and insurance regs. Independent contractors are free and easy, and THAT’s why the IRS hates anybody working as a contractor because it’s harder to squeeze tax money out of the company.

    Here’s another interesting “loop hole tip”… is that when you put a car into a company name, buy insurance and plates… when you SELL that car, you DON’T sell the CAR title, but you sell the COMPANY NAME and the car insurance and TAGS stay on the car (it’s because the car has NOT changed ownership, it’s still owned by the “company”…but the COMPANY has new owners.

    You can also play this trick with a HOUSE DEED… you transfer ownership of the company, and the house has NOT changed hands, needs no inspections, no transfer taxes or fees, etc.
    And, because the house is owned by a “company”, every expense is deductible, even the gas, electric, water, phone and taxes are deductible as a business expense… AND you can probably depreciate it (when values go down).

    I’m not highly versed in this stuff, but in the past, I have had a DBA company registered for one business, and later, had a real CORPORATION registered for truck-hauling/moving stuff, etc. It was some kind of LLC, or “C” corp? I can’t recall at this moment. The corporation paperwork was a lot bigger.

    But the income taxes, inventory, depreciations, etc. was a pain either way.

    That’s why illegal drug dealers and welfare people got it so easy… NO paperwork. Just living under the radar.

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