A group of Regina food truck owners are expressing their frustration, after the price of food truck permits increased from $1,400 to $1,680 this year.
Jim Schinborn has operated the J&P Concessions food truck in Regina for 21 years. He says the increase caught him by surprise.
“They (City of Regina) told me that this is what it cost now, and if I wanted to be out I would have to pay.” said Schinborn.
The permit allows the food trucks to set up in predetermined public areas, like the City Square Plaza, the Northwest Leisure Centre and Rattler Park.
And while Schinborn will continue to pay for his permit, six food trucks have already backed out.
Prairie Smoke and Spice was one of the food trucks who will no longer operate with a public permit.
“More often than not we are finding ourselves at the break-even point or even losing money out in those locations.” said Rob Reinhardt “We didn’t see any justification for increasing it, the price was already quite high.”
The City of Regina says the increase in price was an economic adjustment and if the new permit price is hurting the cities food truck owners then it will have to be assessed.
“If it is creating hardships for food truck owners, we will need to take a look at that,” explained Mayor of Regina, Michael Fougere. “We have to make sure this increase in price is the prudent way to go.”
Food trucks are allowed to cater events and set up on private property without a permit.
At almost $1,700, Regina permit prices are nearly double the permit prices found in other cities. Edmonton and Vancouver permits range from $800 to $900 dollars annually.
Last year the city sold 10 food truck licenses. So far this year, four licenses have been sold.
Schinborn says that the decrease in permits has also hurt business.
“When you have lots of trucks and people all over the place and everyone is eating and having a good time, it’s nice to see that happen.” said Schinborn. “I’d like to see it happen again.”
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