Our thoughts Out­side ven­dors

The Covington News - - OPINION -

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.

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