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

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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.

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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.

“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 Mayor Hogeland.

While it is heartening to hear Mayor Hogel recognize that it’s unfortunate there are young people are complaining about the permits for cutting their neighbors grass for a few bucks and saying that he doesn’t want this to discourage kids from trying to earn money, the fact that he still believes that these kids should be licensed, speaks to the true insanity of government over regulation.

There is clear cognitive dissonance seen in Hogel’s ablity to recognize the foolish and petty nature of calling city authorities on these teenagers for trying to do something adults should be congratulating and supporting while at the same time failing to acknowledge that there is no legitimate reason for these kids to be licensed.

The formality of requiring teens to be licensed to cut grass is a simple revenue generation scheme, plain and simple. This type of regulation does nothing to keep anyone safe – and only serves to enrich the government coffers.

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Once again the free market is being squeezed by unnecessary regulation, for the sake of revenue generation, which only serves to stifle competition and keep consumer prices higher.

Courtesy of The Free Thought Project

Jay Syrmopoulos is an geopolitical analyst, freethinker, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs and holds a BA in International Relations. Jay’s writing has been featured on both mainstream and independent media – and has been viewed tens of millions of times. You can follow him on Twitter @SirMetropolis and on Facebook at SirMetropolis. You can support his work at Patreon.

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

  1. Build That Wall says:

    And yet illegals do gardening and construction without permits, licenses, or citizenship. This is nothing but an obvious ploy to keep illegals funded and maintain the pretense that they “do work Americans won’t do.” If kids do yard work, it makes illegals obsolete. And it’s yet another phony tax scam to steal from the citizenry, now going after children’s piggy banks. Disgusting globalist stooges!

  2. Gregory Alan of Johnson says:

    The lawn-mowing man in business, and the mayor, are completely wrong on this. Private contracts are between two parties, of which the muni-corp CITY OF cannot interfere per Article 1-Section 10 of the Constitution.
    The lawn-mowing businessman filed paperwork, usually an LLC, to contact with the STATE OF muni-corp to be regulated under statutory control for the public benefit, like any other corporation. The girl in this article is not, due to private contract between two living/breathing parties. Corporations cannot regulate private contract, yet threaten where they have no authority by offering a coercive contract of demanding purchase of a license which is not necessary. Learn this before showing it to the “city attorner(ey)” and that should put him/her on notice. The situation of Private Contract is the most lawful (and legal) means of commerce/business on the planet done daily.
    26 USC 83 takes care of any taxes. Labor is property.
    This article proves yet again the necessity of dissolving all municipal corporations in favor of true lawful governance. In that, I’ll take the Torah of Yahweh over anything Satan has to offer, including muni-corps.

  3. AnnTenna says:

    whattsa matter.. Are the ILLEGAL CRIMINAL MEXICAN INVADERS getting upset?

  4. Meli says:

    Come on people in Alabama – you have to think like the government-worshiping liberals and play their games. I’m sure there is some way that a teenager can “volunteer’ their time to cut a neighbor’s lawn. Is there anything illegal about giving the kids a “tip” or a “gift” to show your appreciation? There’s more than one way to skin a cat, as the saying goes! Get creative – or these fascists will strangle all of us.

  5. Alkemyst says:

    “I would love to have something on our books that gave a more favorable response to that student out there cutting grass…” Here’s an idea, stay the F*** out of it! Licensing kids doing an annual job that needs doing?! ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR F***ING MIND??!! Get ’em out, shut ’em down, and above all, LEAVE US AND OUR KIDS THE F*** ALONE!!

  6. Tina Cantu says:

    I swear America has lost it’s way – next you will need a license to baby sit. That may already be the case in some cities. Sickening!!!

  7. Just one more of tens of thousands of consequences of the ever-intensifying, oppressive whirlwind today’s America is reaping as a result of the wind sown by the constitutional framers:

    “[B]ecause they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law … they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind….” (Hosea 8:1, 7)

    Had Moses come down Mt. Sinai with the Constitutional Republic’s laws, he wouldn’t have come down the Mountain with two tablets, but instead with a hernia, a busted back, and an untold number of wagons pulled by donkeys and elephants alike (pun intended). And some Christians have the audacity to claim Yahweh’s moral law is burdensome, despite the following:

    “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3)

    For more on how Yahweh’s immutable moral law applies and should be implemented today, see free online book “Law and Kingdom: Their Relevance Under the New Covenant” at

    Then “A Biblical Constitution: A Scriptural Replacement for
    Secular Government.”

  8. lloyd Lisco says:

    If you lie, cheat and steal you are qualified for a government job.

  9. HarpDiem says:


  10. Justin Tyme says:

    The most insidious part of this being the government’s attempt to indoctrinate the youth into accepting that big brother as the one grants permission to do anything. It must be stopped.

    • HarpDiem says:

      Many say that to fix all this, we are going to have to repair at the local level. Where are the caring people who should be running for town, city and county offices?

      • fgh456 says:

        Voter fraud is a big problem and keeps the good people out of office. In Los Angeles, they ship in busloads of illegals to “vote” for the establishment crooks, and more. POTUS is going after voter fraud. Please support him on this vital issue.

  11. woodenshoes1948 says:

    scum of the earth politicians…..VOTE EM OUT ALL OF EM NOW… tolerance…..they hate the free market…..they hate our children……tyrannical pigs they r……..VOTE EM OUT………

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