Article from Reason by Zach Weissmueller.

Cesar Garcia and his wife Claudia have lived in their home in the desert town of Coachella, California, for more than 13 years. They’ve raised three kids there, and Claudia runs an at-home daycare out of the house.

But three years ago, they made a mistake that could cost them their home and livelihood. When converting their back porch into a TV room, they neglected to get a permit from the city.

Garcia ignored early warnings from Coachella’s buildings department. Then a team of inspectors showed up unannounced. He entered a guilty plea in court, paid a $900 fine, and demolished the structure as ordered by the judge. Next, he got the proper permit before rebuilding and upgrading the porch into a room for the daycare.

He thought the issue was resolved. But six months later a bill arrived for $26,000.

Read the entire article at Reason.

Image Credit: By Jericho [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons