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Antique dealers face new law requiring more complete records

Updated August 19, 2021 - 4:01 pm

Changes could be coming for local antique dealers if a proposed code amendment is approved by City Council.

“The current Boulder City Municipal Code is not consistent with state law … . This proposed update would bring the city into compliance with state law, and protects businesses and residents,” said City Manager Taylour Tedder.

The code amendment would require local antique dealers to obtain a secondhand dealers license and keep records about the items they sell, where and when they received them and when they sold them for any nonexempt secondhand personal property they obtain or sell. Currently, just secondhand and junk dealers have to keep these records and antique dealers are exempt from having to do so.

According to city documents, this “blanket exemption leaves Boulder City businesses vulnerable to abuse by bad actors.”

“I especially appreciate city staff and business owners’ meeting to discuss the draft ordinance and making changes before moving it forward for City Council consideration,” said Tedder. “Staff has remained diligent in taking the concerns of business owners into consideration with the proposed ordinance.”

This code change would also bring the city into compliance with NRS 647 that outlines these requirements for secondhand and junk dealers at the state level.

If approved, antique dealers who sell nonexempt secondhand personal property would have to keep “a true and accurate description” of every item bought and sold by the store, as well as information about the vendor who provided it and the employee who sold it. Additionally, the dealer would need to record how much the item sold for and the time and date of purchase.

All of this information would need to be written legibly in ink and kept in a “substantial and well-bound book.”

Those who just sell antiques, defined as items at least 60 years old with special value primarily because of their age would continue to be exempt. The new ordinance also lists other exemptions from the requirement, which include those who are properly licensed to sell used vehicles, apparel, general household items, infant and child items, sporting equipment, musical instruments and firearms.

Local antique dealer Glena Dunn, who buys and sells antiques, said if this amendment passes, it would require her to get a secondhand dealer license as well as keeping a log of all her purchases in a book. Previously, she had been using buyer slips.

Despite the possible changes, she said she understands why the code could change.

“We can’t have our own law that’s less restrictive than state law,” she said.

Other local antique businesses are unsure as to how this amendment would affect them.

“I don’t buy in-store,” said Sherman Wright, owner of Sherman’s House of Antiques. “I’ll be out buying. I don’t know how that really affects me. At the auction we take consignment.”

“It’s premature to comment on proposed legislation until it’s finalized,” said Jeff Thau, owner of Boulder City Antique Market.

There are currently seven antique dealers in town and, according to the city, staff notified them about the proposed amendment and held a workshop.

The bill was introduced at a recent City Council meeting and will be considered Tuesday, Aug. 24. Members of the public will be able to comment on the proposed ordinance amendment at that time.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and takes place in council chambers at City Hall, 401 California Ave.

Draft Ordinance Amendment by Boulder City Review on Scribd

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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