City Hall Says It's Really Cleaning Up With That $15 Garage Sale Permit Fee

Back in the fall of 2010, the city's garage-sale permit fee, then just a proposal, raised quite the ruckus -- so much so, you may recall, Neil Cavuto told Dwaine Caraway during a FOX News appearance that, well, "it just looks desperate" during a segment titled "Garage Sale Gouge." At the time it cost $5 to get a city-issued permit to hold a garage sale; council ultimately voted to up the fee to $15 in order to "better regulate and enforce the garage sale provisions and promote Clean, Safe and Vibrant Neighborhoods." (Oh -- and put money into the Dallas Arboretum and other arts-n-cultural centers.)

Reason it's worth revisiting this morning: Following this lovely presentation on the Children's Garden Development at the Dallas Arboretum, the city council's Quality of Life Committee will get an update on the permitting process from Jimmy Martin, head of code compliance, who will tell the council that since the rule took effect the city's issued 16,700 permits between FY2010-11 and today, which comes out to 'round $250,000 ... or $166,500 more than the city would have pocketed previously.

Ah -- but still some folks are having trouble sticking to the rules, which say you can't have more than two sales a year, they can't last longer than three days, and that you can only post one two-square-foot sign a sale "on the lot where the sale is taking place." Says the briefing, during the FY10-11 fiscal year: "720 Notice of Violations and 17 criminal citations were issued for illegal garage sales," and City Hall has to come up with some way to further "encourage residents to call 311 so that Code Compliance can focus enforcement efforts."

As always.

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