MEMPHIS, Tenn. — This year, the accompaniment of Tennessee absurd bottomward on association application their state-funded EBT cards at liquor stores, band clubs, and casinos.
It was consistently illegal, but now new laws appoint stiffer penalties.
However, some bodies don’t acquire the restrictions went far enough.
As WREG Investigator Stephanie Scurlock found, you ability still be afraid at some of the places you can bash these cards and what you can buy.
EBT, the state’s Electronic Benefit Transfer cards, is a debit agenda for those who acquire Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds and aliment stamps.
WREG begin some of the things bodies are application the TANF money for is added about vanity than necessity.
“If they’re accepting article for the kid’s beard that’s different, but if you’re aloof spending it on yourself, that’s affectionate of like not what you should be doing,” Alexandria Pierce from Raleigh said.
At TJ’s Beauty Depot, the assurance on the aperture advertises it accepts EBT cards.
The abundance sells all kinds of items, but it’s the beard braid that draws a lot of barter through the doors.
“This one is for EBT cash, debit cards or acclaim cards. It’s already on computer,” the abundance agent said.
He told WREG they do a lot of business with EBT cards.
The agent told me the abundance alone started accepting the cards a few months, and they’re acceptable for business. We asked what bodies bought back they acclimated EBT cards.
The agent replied, “It depends, some of the barter buy beard or chemicals.”
Tattoo shops can additionally acquire EBT cards, and the accompaniment will balance them with your tax dollars.
“Sometimes it bothers me, but at the aforementioned time, I say it’s their money. If you accord it to them, you should acquiesce them to do what they appetite to do with it. If they appetite to get a tattoo, I say appear get a tattoo,” boom boutique buyer Calvin Watson said.
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Those who acquire EBT cards acquire a set bulk that charge be acclimated for aliment purchases, but what’s larboard can be acclimated to accomplish added purchases, alike tattoos.
“It seems wrong. Really it does because it seems like it’s demography from the added necessities,” Lou Green from Raleigh. said
Don Pang owns Angel Beauty Supply and said he doesn’t get abounding EBT transactions, but his business does acquire the cards.
He argues it’s acceptable because it’s acceptable back bodies don’t backpack a lot of banknote these days.
Besides, he said he sells some of those aliment that aren’t accessible to get in the south Memphis adjacency he serves.
“It’s their appropriate to do it. They can use that agenda for that,” Pang said.
When Nashville assembly proposed alteration the law beforehand this year, they initially said businesses that primarily advertise tattoos, tobacco products, and analytic casework would be excluded.
However, a accompaniment advocate brash them actuality too akin could amount them federal funding.
So for now, Watson can abide to acquire your money for the tattoos he designs.
Watson said, “The money is absolutely advancing from taxpayer’s pockets, so I’m a taxpayer. I’m aloof accepting my money back; I guess.”
Others see it as bodies demography advantage of the arrangement at the amount of taxpayers.
Any being bent actionable the EBT guidelines has to accord the money.
The new laws imposed in 2014 accomplished a business $1,000 on the aboriginal offense, $2,500 on additional offense, and $5,000 on consecutive offenses, additional they can lose their accompaniment business licenses.
In September, grants were awarded to Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington accompaniment to clue and analyze fraud.
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