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Alabama Town Requires Teens to Purchase a Business License to Mow Lawns

An Alabama town is requiring teenagers who mow lawns to make some extra money this summer to obtain a business license.

Government officials and professional lawn companies are threatening to go after teens who mow lawns in the city of Gardendale if they do not show proof of a business license, which is required under a city ordinance, WBMA reported.

The license costs $110 to obtain, regardless of how many months or how often someone works cutting lawns.

Local residents say they are outraged by the city’s ordinance and say it unfairly targets teenagers.

Elton Campbell, whose granddaughter, Alainna Parris, cuts neighbors’ lawns, said she has “never heard of child cutting grass” being required to obtain a business license.

“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.

Parris said she uses the money she earns mowing lawns for “admissions” and “trips,” and says the measure discourages hard-working teenagers who just want to make a few extra bucks.

“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.

Gardendale Mayor Stan Hogeland said everyone within the city limits must have a business license, but argued that the measure is not meant to go after teens trying to make extra money on the side.

“I would love to have something on our books that gave a more favorable response to that student out there cutting grass. And see if there’s maybe a temporary license during the summer months that targets teenagers,” said Hogeland.

Other towns across the country also have local ordinances that require entrepreneurial kids to obtain a business license.

In 2015, two Texas girls had their lemonade stand shut down by the police because they did not have a permit.

That same year, two high school seniors in New Jersey were stopped by police after they went door-to-door advertising their snow shoveling services. They were not arrested or ticketed.

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