TAMPA, Fla. — We are in the thick of tax season. That means you're probably seeing more signs littering the right-of-way near busy intersections across the Tampa Bay area.
Snipe signs are a cheap way for companies to advertise and are often tacked, nailed, posted, pasted, glued or otherwise attached to trees, poles, fences or other objects.
"When it's tax season, it's never-ending," said one employee with Tampa's Neighborhood Enforcement Division, who is tasked with pulling the signs down.
For city crews, the problem seems to never go away, as offenders often replace the signs weekly, daily, or even within minutes of being taken down.
"We'll clean these out, and then if we leave and come back, you know, circle the block, they will be back out within 15-20 minutes," said another city employee.
Snipe signs are more than just unsightly.
"It is illegal to put any signs in the right away throughout the city," said Keith O'Connor, Tampa Neighborhood Enhancement manager.
City leaders also said they create extra litter as business owners hardly ever remove them.
"Now it's trash that we have to deal with or citizens have to deal with," O'Connor said.
The signs aren't just in main thoroughfares anymore either. Instead, these snipe signs are now making their way into residential neighborhoods
"It depends on how many signs they buy, I guess," O'Connor said. "They stick them wherever."
If you see snipe signs, you can call Tampa Neighborhood Enhancement to come and get them.
You can also just throw them out, or take a picture and email that to code enforcement.
If caught in the act by city workers, offenders face a $300 citation for putting up the signs in the right-of-way. If the same business is caught repeatedly doing this, code enforcement will follow up and the company can face further fines.
In Hillsborough County, you can also volunteer to help code enforcement take down the signs. Learn more here.