The Hermosa Beach City Council approved an ordinance Tuesday lowering the business tax on food trucks operating within city limits from $500 to $197 annually.
The ordinance revises another ordinance adopted in November of 2011 that set an annual tax of $500 for catering trucks. Prior to 2011, the amount was $197 per year in Hermosa Beach.
, a former Hermosa Beach mayor and owner of , said that food trucks don’t have the benefit of being in Hermosa Beach 365 days year, which is what vendors are looking for when buying an annual business license.
“We are trying to get a fee that is fair and reflects the nature of the business,” Bowler told to councilmembers.
said that $500 a year compared to what other cities are charging is “way out of whack.”
“We also don’t have a situation … where they are here 24/7. They come in and out of the city,” Fishman said. “…There [are] also special restrictions that they are governed by already, so there [are] already things in place that sort of handicap them.”
Fishman said the $197 per year amount seemed more reasonable.
Councilman Peter Tucker voiced opposition to lowering the tax rate to one of year’s past.
“One reason we redid our tax fees is because we were 20 years behind at the time and now we want to lower it back to 20-year-ago prices. …I feel that we need look at a special event tax or fee for these vehicles per day,” Tucker said.
Tucker said he would support a day usage fee rather than lowering the tax. He said doing so would set a precedent and could risk other businesses asking for the same thing.
City Council directed staff to explore the concept of a one-day usage fee, and voted 4-1 to approve ordinance revising the business tax for catering food trucks.