TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — For less than $3,000, you too can be a permitted, registered fortuneteller, clairvoyant, psychic, or medium. The fee is split and regulated through two ordinances in Hillsborough County.
In addition to the money, there are some rules for residents who are tapping into the mystic arts, asking for help from the spirits, or divining the future through tea leaves or Tarot, among other mediums.
According Hillsborough County’s municipal code, “Every fortuneteller, clairvoyant, palmist, astrologer, phrenologist, character reader, spirit medium, absent treatment healer, or mental healer and every person engaged in any occupation of a similar nature shall pay a business tax of $225.”
However, the ordinance, “Sec. 46-188: Fortunetellers, clairvoyants, etc.,” clarifies that the section does not apply to religions which “heal the sick by prayer.”
The bigger fee, and subsequent regulations, apply from the next county ordinance, “Sec. 46-189, Fortunetellers, clairvoyants, etc. County permit required; penalty.”
According to county code, those working as a fortuneteller must “furnish a bond in the amount of $2,500 in a form approved by the county, by a surety licensed to do business in Florida.” Doing so, according to the county, guarantees “performance of all commitments, contracts, or promises made to customers by the holder of the permit applied for herein,” with the bond in “full force and effect” as long as the permit holder has a valid business tax receipt in Hillsborough County.
The other regulations are less magical than mundane, though more intense than some other business permits.
To be a fortuneteller or psychic in Hillsborough County, you must:
- Be a resident of Florida
- Establish good, moral character by not less than five residents of Hillsborough County
- Provide residence and employment histories, including evidence of other business tax receipts, if applicable, for at least three years prior to the date of the application
- Have personal identification by at least a Florida driver’s license or Florida identification card
- Provide officials with appropriate evidence of zoning verification
- Be fingerprinted by the county sheriff as part of the application “investigation”
- Provide the county with a recent photograph along with their surety bond, to be included as “a permanent part of the permit” for the Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners
There are consequences to falsehood, as well.
According to the municipal code, “anyone engaging in any occupation comprehended by Section 46-188 without a business tax receipt and the permit required by this section or who shall obtain any such permit or business tax receipt by fraud or deceit shall be subject to prosecution and punishment as described in Section 46-165.”
Like the other ordinance, those religions which heal the sick through prayer are not affected by this permitting process or county regulation.