We are never happy to see groups come into our community, especially on holidays, to set up shop for a week or two and sell products that rob profits from our local merchants who pay taxes on a regular basis.
The recent Fourth of July holiday was no exception.
For the last two weeks there have been numerous tents set up in the area that offered fireworks for sale.
We asked the city folks what kind of price these folks pay into city coffers to have the privilege to sell in our community.
As best as we can tell all that is required is a $100 license fee.
In order to provide licenses, the city has the planning director, fire marshal, building inspector, planner and the assistant police chief approve and sign off on the permit.
It seems to us that charging these groups only $100 to set up shop is not enough to even cover the city’s expense.
If we are going to allow short-term businesses to come in on special holidays and take money out of our community and cause our own local merchants to lose revenue, then at the least the permit price should be hiked.
Unless there is some federal or state law that does not allow a city to regulate its own permits, we don’t see why the permit rate couldn’t be, let’s say, $1,000. At least we could see some profit out of the gypsy-like businesses that appear at holiday times.
We would like to see the chamber and the Main Street program get behind an effort to raise the license fee for this type of business activity.