CHARLES COUNTY, MD – The Charles County commissioners rejected a resolution that would have permitted food trucks in the county after local restaurant owners spoke against the proposal at a public hearing Wednesday.
The proposal would have allowed mobile food trucks to operate in La Plata, Hughesville, Bryans Road, Benedict, Cobb Island, Newburg and Nanjemoy, as well as at county parks, fire departments, the White Plains Golf Course, and Indian Head trailheads and pull-offs. Vendors would have needed to receive permission from the property owners before they could set up.
Art Jolliffe, the 11-year owner of Gilligan’s Pier restaurant in Popes Creek, said he employs 46 people and has paid nearly $115,000 in taxes as a local business.
“I believe that if you let these trucks into our county where they can set up and put any kind of sign on there that they want to, that it’s going to do nothing but hurt the small businesses here in Charles County,” he said.
Jolliffe also took issue with the lone $250 permit prospective food truck vendors would have to pay.
“I pay over $1,000 for my liquor license, $300 for a food license. I pay well, I pay septic, and what are they paying?” he asked. “What’s it say for the small businesses of Charles County? It says we don’t care. That’s what it says to me.
“I worked hard for what I got, and I’d like to keep what I got. It’s hard enough to make a living in this county as it is with all the taxes that we do all have to pay in this county. I’ve got well taxes, I got septic taxes, now I got a rain tax. Are we going to rain tax them, too?”
Next to speak was Gary Fick, head chef at Blue Dog Saloon in Port Tobacco.
“Everything he said,” Fick began. “Pretty much what Art said, but the costs and the regulations aren’t apples to apples for everything.”
Find the entire article by Jeff Newman at SoMDnews.com <here>