Business Owners: Township Regulations Doing More Harm than Good

LOYALSOCK TOWNSHIP, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)- A woman who makes her living in the restaurant business says Uncle Sam is taking a big portion of her food truck.

It all has to do with an ordinance passed last year.  According to the Loyalsock Township's ordinance, anybody, anywhere, selling anything not in a brick and mortar has to pay up.

Last year, Loyalsock Township saw an uptick in food trucks. So leader's passed a "peddling and soliciting ordinance."

Now, business owners say the regulations are doing more harm than good.

"It really deters, you know, whether I can open or not," says Janet Jackson, the owner of Eat and Run Catering.

Jackson moved her business to Northway Road and decided to hook up her food trailer, running a special on Wednesdays.

Being open for that one day requires a license. It runs her either $25 a day, $125 a week, or $400 a month.

"So I have to weight the amount of business to the fees I am being charged to open by own food trailer in my own parking lot," says Jackson.

The food truck stand regulations had an unintended consequence. Gone are the days of children setting up lemonade stands in front of their parents' home.

But for those who make their income one sale at a time, every penny taxed is one not earned.

"It's tough," says John Fritz, owner of Sunset Ice Cream. "It's tough to make a living and it's seven days a week. It's not just a 40-hour week it's 100."

It's the hours that make for little sleep, ultimately to provide "goods" to buyers.

"It's very cost prohibitive when you add it up," says Jackson. "If I would open more than one of two days a week it would just be outrageous."

In nearby Williamsport, they are establishing an ordinance where it would cost food truck owners $250 a year for a permit. That's about $0.69 a day.

Jackson plans to take her concerns again to the township's second monthly meeting tomorrow night at 7:30.


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