More than a thousand patrons strolled by the booths and sampled goods at the third annual Kid’s Market on Saturday in Spanish Fork.
The Kid’s Market is designed to help youth learn about entrepreneurship, merchandising and everything else that goes with starting a business.
This year that includes reporting and paying sales tax revenue to the State Tax Commission. The idea of 10-year-olds having to pay sales tax for a four-hour event isn’t sitting well with Connor Boyack, president of Libertas Institute, which sponsored the event.
“They (Utah State Tax Commission) are putting a target on their (kids’ and parents’) backs,” Boyack said. “Even if they have no sales they are still demanding they send in sales tax forms.”
Boyack points to subsection 13 of the state sales tax statute that says if you’re not engaged in regular business you are not required to report or pay sales tax to the state.
“It is an exemption intended for these kinds of businesses,” Boyack said. He referred to things like lemonade stands or yard sales as an example.
Spanish Fork sees it differently.
“We’re pretty objective with the law,” said Scott Aylett, Spanish Fork spokesman. “We expect vendors to pay taxes to the state.”
Aylett said because the Kid’s Market is an organized event, it is different than the random lemonade stand. Sales made at the event are required to report sale taxes to the Tax Commission.
“At the end of the day it’s between them (the entrepreneurs) and the Tax Commission,” Aylett said. “It doesn’t matter if they’re 10 or 100 (years old).”
The tax forms were new to many parents at the event and were given a mixed review.
The kids already put money out by paying $10 or $15 for a booth.
Some parents are planning on bearing the tax burden this year, while others said it’s just part of the entrepreneur experience.
Boyack said he told participants to put zero on the form and send it in.
“Sen. (Jacob) Anderegg is opening a bill file so we can address this and shut it down,” Boyack said. “Tax Commission is being lazy and saying everyone in an event has to pay and fill out these forms. That’s not at all what’s in the law.”
Libertas Institute works with legislators to formulate and pass bills.
While the adults mull over what’s next with the Tax Commission, the kids had a great time.
“We work on this all summer,” said Danyelle Payne, mom to entrepreneurs Kena Ley Payne and Anderson Payne. “We sold out last year. It looks like mom’s taking the hit on the taxes this year.”
Kena Ley Payne said she learned a lot last year that she is incorporating this time around.
“I learned we needed to market a lot,” she said. “We learned we actually have to play with things so they (customers) can see the product.”
Paige Johnson, 12, and her sister Katie Johnson, 9, have been involved in all three years of the Kid’s Market and said they have learned a lot.
“We are doing this because our basement is being done and we want to fund our room décor,” Paige Johnson said. “Yes, we have to fund it.”
Katie Johnson added, “We switch up what we do every year. The most fun was making the (hair) scrunchies.”
If farm animals get your goat, then Ezra Callis, 9, had just the thing. A booth where you could pay a dollar and get your picture with two goats. For just 25 cents more you could purchase some food to feed the goats.
“I have no clue what I am going to do with my money,” Callis said. “I just like earning money.”
Lucie Wise, 12, is at her fourth Kid’s Market this year. The markets are held around the state, and according to Boyack, they have grown to 15 events including Christmas markets.
Wise started early by planting 500 flower seeds, then weeded and grew them for bouquets to sale at the event. She also spent the 48 hours prior to the Kid’s Market baking her homemade cinnamon rolls.
“I like it. I’ll do this again,” Wise said. While this is her fourth market, it is her first year selling.
Her mom, Julie Wise, was there to help and said of the four events, this was the first time they have had to pay taxes.
Working her second market of the year, Amalyssa Sudweeks, 15, makes decorative headbands and jewelry.
“I’m trying to start an Etsy store,” Sudweeks said.