Ordinance requiring door-to-door permit fee gains support

Saturday, August 11, 2012 - 12:00am

The latest ordinance proposal to come out of the Metro City Council is an attempt to crack down on door-to-door scams.

A recent ordinance proposal outlined by Councilmen Smokie Bourgeois would require all those going door-to-door selling goods, or collecting for charity to register for a permit and pay a $5 fee.

"You don't know who's coming to your door! Are they coming to solicit business, are they legitimate? Or are they just coming to case the neighborhood?," Councilman Bourgeois, asks.

Those with the Better Business Bureau of Baton Rouge say that's not such a bad idea. They say they're constantly getting calls from people who've been ripped off by door-to-door scams. In fact, they're ready to endorse it.

"The legitimate groups will than comply with that legislation and that's great,” Jim Stalls, Better Business Bureau, said. “The ones that are scams won't and that will give us than the opportunity to contact the local authorities."

Though the idea is to deter scam artists, some worry that groups such as the Girl Scouts will also be subject to a permit. Bourgeois says they would, but thinks the $5 permit price tag will be worth it.

"It would be nice if they carried something that said they were authentic and doing something that they were supposed to do," he noted. "You never know what's involved when you're not being alert and you're not being cautious with somebody either coming to your door or asking for a donation.

The ordinance proposal has not yet been discussed by the committee at large. That will happen next week. 

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