Garage sale permit fee pulls in $186,000 for city

At least someone is making money from garage sales: The city reports that it earned $186,450 from the $15 permit fee residents have been required to pay during the past fiscal year. Interestingly, according to the DMN blog, the city pays about $360,000 to police garage sales, which staffers say would be spent regardless of the permit fee.

According to the city briefing, more than 12,430 permits were issued, and the city also dished out 720 violation notices and 17 criminal citations (no idea what a criminal citation entails here).

Something I didn’t know: You’re restricted to one sign per garage sale, whether it’s on your yard or on a neighbor’s more visible yard (with their permission, of course). Meanwhile, no signs can be hung on city right of way (meaning signs, utility poles and other public property).

Councilwoman Angela Hunt suggested three potential changes to the ordinance:

1) Allow sales on front lawns, not just in garages (I think that horse has left the barn, at least from a practical standpoint, so changing the ordinance just makes sense);

2) First permit free but additional charge for second; and

3) Allow more than one sign (but still no right-of-way signs)

By |2012-02-27T15:50:16-05:00February 27th, 2012|City Hall, News|2 Comments

About the Author:

RICK WAMRE is president of Advocate Media. He also writes a monthly column and blogs about neighborhood issues. Email him at                                                  


  1. Antoinetty February 27, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    Hold up!  The city pays $360k to police garage sales???  Annually???  I wonder how many actual police officers  could that fund!!!

  2. Rachel Stone February 27, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    I should note it was the Dells District neighbor Gay Revi, aka the Granny Geek, who pitched a “hissy fit” about garage sales in the first place.

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