This blog post is going to be a bit different. I live outside of a major city in Kansas ( I know major city and Kansas do not go together). This particular city is floating the idea of increasing the fee for the permit to have a garage sale. The fee is currently $8 and is not enough to cover the staff and paperwork cost. They propose to increase the fee by $2.50, although they haven’t decided yet. To make matters a tad worse, you can not get the permit online as the city government has not made that a capability yet.
The city estimates, it doesn’t even know, that it spends 44,000 a year processing the permits while only bringing in 19,500 a year. The proposed increase would only bring revenue up to about 32,000. Not only are they making people purchase a permit to sell their own property on their own property, they are making the taxpayers inadvertently subsidize those who have these sales by not covering the cost. Even the proposed rate hike wouldn’t cover the cost.
This is done in the name of public interest, more specifically, the interest of zoning ordinances. My proposal would be to get rid of the permit, it is not needed. It was a solution to a non-problem. The bureaucrat who is processing these should be let go to provide value in the market. The police who are sent out to check and enforce this should be freed up to tackle real crime, like violations of person and property. This will also save taxpayer money as well. That is a double bonus.
The idea that you need a license to allow people who voluntarily come on to your property to purchase previously owned property from you is absurd. It is simply another way for the “leaders” to reach into your life and make it a little bit worse. People did fine without garage sale permits before they can do it again. I know there might be a few little problem areas here and there but deal with those as they come up, don’t fleece the public twice. Once by requiring a permit and the second by subsidizing the permit buyer with taxpayer money. This is the land of the free, not Soviet Russia, you shouldn’t need approval or permits from our “leaders” to do something so benign.
As a parent, show your kids how you participate in an unregulated voluntary exchange. Have a garage sale or go to one and see what you find!