HORN LAKE, MS (abc24.com) - A business owner in Horn Lake, Mississippi is fighting to put his "dancers" back on the street. We're talking about the sign-waving, flag-bearing greeters competing for your attention on the side of the road.
A city code bans them most of the year. Employees at Liberty Tax Service say the city code is bad for business. They've been arguing with Horn Lake leaders for years.
The city used to allow the greeters, and ever since it stopped the tax service says customers have stopped coming.
"They bring the business in," says Nayyer Mahmood. He's marked tax season with his Lady Liberty dancers for years. The wavers were his main tool to attract customers to his tax office right off busy Goodman Road.
"The major marketing tool has been taken away from us," Mahmood tells abc24.com. He's been fighting Horn Lake for the past three years.
"Since 2010 we've been lobbying city."
City code has changed several times. Now businesses are only allowed to use wavers four days of the year.
"That makes it almost impossible to have any kind of live advertising outside," he says. "Everybody allows a Lady Liberty on the road."
Other Mid-South Liberty Tax offices use the dancers without a problem.
"There's one in Olive Branch," he says. "There's one in Cordova that has a Lady Liberty. One in Winchester. One on Park. One in Millington. They have a Lady Liberty -- two in West Memphis. We are the only one that's being discriminated against."
Horn Lake officials have cited safety.
"We've tried to reason with them several times. It's not very dangerous at all, especially with someone standing 20 feet away from the road."
"I think we are doing maybe 20 percent of what we used to do before regulations came in."
We tried contacting Horn Lake's mayor's office several times today. Our calls were not returned.