After a man with a lawncare business in Gardendale, Alabama, saw a teenage girl cutting grass in a neighborhood he’d been servicing, he threatened to call city council. It turns out that teens mowing lawns in Gardendale are technically required to have a $110 business license to cut lawns.
It all goes back to an ordinance enacted in 2007 in the Birmingham suburb: anyone performing a service for which they are paid is obliged to first obtain a business license at a cost of $110. This meant that teens mowing lawns to earn a little pocket money over the summer were technically required to have that license.
Since the dispute between the lawncare professional and the teen, the city has revised the ordinance so that exceptions are granted for full-time students. Mayor Stan Hogeland said, “It’s commendable and I want kids to do it. They’re learning the value of a dollar, and the value and rewards of hard work.”
“I wanted that young lady to be protected and I don’t want another kid in our town to have to feel like they’re looking over their shoulder, wondering if they’re going to get in trouble, and I think that with this ordinance, we’ve proved, ’Hey, we’ve got your back.’”