- Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2014

HORN LAKE, Miss. (AP) - A Horn Lake tax preparation business operator wants the city to suspend its ban on “waver” advertising for the tax season.

The “wavers,” a common sight throughout the area as the March filing deadline for federal income tax returns approaches, are usually temporary employees hired to dress up and promote the business to passers-by.

In Liberty Tax’s case, the “wavers” are dressed as the Statue of Liberty, in keeping with the business’ name.

Horn Lake requires a permit for live advertising, with a maximum of four times a year, eight hours per occurrence, with a $20 fee each time. The ordinance also requires activity be no closer than 20 feet from the curb.

The Commercial Appeal reports (http://bit.ly/1cZ9MoY ) Liberty Tax operator Nyeer Mahmood argues the ordinance is too restrictive.

Aldermen said the ordinance is for safety reasons, noting that the busy Goodman Road-U.S. Highway 51 intersection - known as Bullfrog Corner - where Liberty Tax operates is already a prime target for accidents.

“Live people just increase the chances of accidents,” said Aldermen John Jones.

Alderwoman Amy Lay she would be willing to consider changes. Lay said the ordinance affects businesses citywide, so a decision shouldn’t be made based solely on the location of Mahmood’s business.

City Planner Austin Cardosi told aldermen that Hernando and Olive Branch do not regulate live advertising or require a permit. Southaven discourages it, Cardosi said, but allows it on a temporary basis.

Aldermen asked Cardosi to review the issue and bring a proposal back to them.

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Information from: The Commercial Appeal, http://www.commercialappeal.com