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Lawmaker seeks to cap food truck fees

State Senator Tim Kennedy and Lloyd Taco Truck co-owner Peter Cimino.JPG
Chris Caya/WBFO News

State Senator Tim Kennedy is proposing legislation that limits the annual fees municipalities across New York can charge mobile food vendors.

Kennedy says the food truck industry is booming, but inflated fees charged by municipalities are putting the brakes on mobile food vendors. The South Buffalo Democrat says his proposal will protect local control over regulating where and when food trucks do business.  

"Our legislation will simply ensure local governments don't price these small businesses out of existence and stymie the statewide growth of the industry," Kennedy said in a news conference Tuesday.

"What we're trying to do is grow jobs in New York State [and] grow jobs in Western New York, and to create an economic environment where government is getting out of the way."

If approved, Kennedy's bill would limit food truck fees statewide to $250. Currently in the City of Buffalo permits cost $1,000 annually which, according to Lloyd Taco Truck co-owner Peter Cimino,  is three times the national average.

"There's food trucks here right now in Western New York who are not able to do business in both Amherst and the City [of Buffalo]. They're choosing one or the other or none because they can't afford it. A thousand dollars is a lot of tacos someone has to sell, or a lot of orders of french fries" Cimino said.

Cimino says it's only fair that food trucks be charged the same fees as restaurants,  which he says can be anywhere from $80 to $250.

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