City’s Cracking Down On Seedy Underworld Of Garage Sales

Cities around the country are cracking down on the seedy underworld of home garage sales. While such sales have become as American as apple pie and Major League Baseball it turns out some residents around the country have turned the occasional garage sale into a full time business, something state officials around the country say is illegal.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal a Kansas state revenue agent notes:

“Anything they sell that doesn’t come out of their house is a taxable item, and we’ve had to shut a few down,”

While a Texas agent adds:

“It’s not a garage sale if residents are running businesses out of their homes, selling new merchandise.”

The issue lawmakers have with such a practice is the fact that items bought directly for resale require taxes to be paid and in most states require a reseller certificate to be awarded from the state of sale.

To fight the constant barrage of “garage sales as businesses” many cities have begun to set ordinances with yearly limits on garage sales per household, for example in Liberal, Kansas homeowners are only allowed to hold 4 garage sales per year and those sellers are required to request a license from the city.

It’s also apparently not just a question about taxes, in some cities officials have noticed a trend towards selling stolen goods at the garage sales while officials have seen yard sales literally setup in the yards of abandoned homes while the garage sales block up streets that are turned into “temporary parking lots.”

Do you think city officials are going to far or should they investigate each garage sale on an individual basis as deemed necessary to protect everyone’s interests?

[Image via Paul McKinnon /]

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