Kids Fined $500 for Unpermitted Lemonade Stand (Video)
Every summer thousands of kids across the U.S. earn a little pocket change and learn a bit about business by setting up lemonade stands in their front yards. They may cause traffic to slow down a touch, but most of them don't do any real damage. That's why some Montgomery County, Md., residents are so outraged over county officials fining the parents of some industrious local kids for failing to get a vendors license for their lemonade stand.
It seems the kids had set up shop on private property to sell to the crowds heading to the U.S. Open golf tournament at a nearby country club. It's common practice in the area for homeowners to sell parking spaces in their yards for the golf tournament, some of them making as much as $60 per day.
But these kids weren't doing it for their own benefit. Their handmade signs clearly stated that they were raising money for charity -- pediatric cancer, to be exact.
A county inspector came by earlier in the day and warned them to shut their stand down. But the kids didn't take him seriously. What harm could a lemonade stand possibly do? The inspector came back later with a letter for their parents, slapping them with a $500 fine.
"Cute little kids making five or ten dollars is a little bit different than making hundreds. You've got coolers and coolers here," the inspector told mother Carrie Marriott, in front of a WUSA TV reporter. He was unswayed by her argument that they were raising money for charity.
Jennifer Hughes, the director of permitting for the county, told WUSA that it's technically illegal to run even the smallest lemonade stand in the county, but inspectors usually don't fine them. She said this one was unusually large.
"The message to kids is that there's no American Dream," said Marriott.
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