The controversy got started when a professional landscaper reportedly complained to a neighbor that he would go to city hall to complain about a 15-year-old girl who was mowing the grass for a few homeowners in her Gardendale, Ala., neighborhood. Pursuant to a town ordinance in effect since 2007, the teen and any other similarly situated student needed to cough up $110 for a city-issued business license.
"I have never heard of a child cutting grass had to have a business license," said Elton Campbell, Alainna Parris' grandfather. Campbell alerted the community about what was going on in a Facebook message when he asked if anyone in town knew if a teenager really needed a business license.
Theoretically, and absurd as it sounds, a teen could risk arrest if he or she lacked a business license for casual or occasional work such as mowing lawns over the summer. (Related: Read more about bureaucratic meddling at PoliceState.news.) You also have to wonder about any adult business operator who would object to competition, such as it is, from a hard-working teenager.