By DAVID LOPEZ
During Tuesday night’s regular city meeting, commissioners voted to pass an ordinance requiring all food vendors to apply for a “Vendor Permit.”
Food vendors in the ordinance include mobile food, street peddlers, door to door salesmen, non-profit, and special events, among others. The most discussed amongst commissioners and the public, however, were of the last two, churches and sports clubs, who sell food regularly for fundraising purposes.
Under the ordinance, vendors are also prohibited from selling their products on the street.
Previously, organizations selling food for fundraising purposes avoided paying city retail sales taxes when purchasing temporary food permits for $25 to $50, often selling the common and familiar chicken or BBQ plates.
However, Mayor Ben Gomez brought up the issue during a meeting in April, naming out-of-town vendors as hurting local businesses.
Assistant to the City Manager Fred Bell addressed commissioners during the meeting.
“We wanted to address the amount of permits based on event or vendor…but the main ones that are important are about the duration for temporary food vendors. They can get up to six per calendar year from January to December,” said Bell.
Schools and city-sponsored events were exempt from the ordinance. Organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club were exempt because of their continuing city agreements for recreational purposes.
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