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Citywide yard sale mulled
• Council, city staff exploring options for event
Generic yard sale
The Ceres City Council and city staff is exploring options for putting on a community yard sale in 2024. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

A citywide garage sale is being considered by city officials.

The idea came up in October after a Ceres couple asked the City Council to relax the local law governing garage and yard sales. The city ordinance limits residents from holding no more than two sales in a 12-month period as long as they obtain a permit from City Hall. On top of that, the state requires that any resident who holds three or more sales within a 12-month period to obtain a seller’s permit and they must file sales and use tax returns and pay any sales and use tax due.

Community Development Director Christopher Hoem said a two-day sale counts as two sales.

Hoem also stated that if Ceres holds a one-day citywide garage sale event and if a person holds two of their own, that would count as three and trigger them needing to obtain a California seller’s permit in order to also participate in the city-wide event.

Hoem said the council has two options for a city-wide garage/yard sale event:

1. Require all participants to obtain a garage sale permit and pay the $5 fee and have Code Enforcement officers look for violations.

2. Waive the requirement for a garage sale permit for each person wanting to hold a sale on the citywide garage sale day, unless the resident has already had two sales. Hoem said it would be challenging to make sure residents on their third sale are following state law requiring a California seller’s permits.

Vice Mayor Bret Silveira wanted Hoem to see if the city can suspend all permits for one day. Hoem said he already asked the state agency dealing with taxes and they stated that citizens still are required to follow their rules.

“We don’t want anybody to pay anything – we want 7,000 yard sales,” said Silveira. “Seriously that’s the nuts and bolts of it and if they can get away with one day where they’re not going to have to go here, go there and sign up or pay any fees I’m all for it.”

After Ceres resident John Warren received confirmation that the city considers a Friday-Saturday-Sunday sale as three sales by state law and thus exceeds Ceres’ limit of two, Hoem said the city may have to amend the Ceres Municipal code.

A garage sale permit for a residence costs only $5, and can be obtained at the city’s finance department during normal business hours.

In the event that a garage sale takes place without a permit, or if signs are placed illegally, the responsible party will likely receive a citation from code enforcement personnel.