City's food truck ordinance is getting heated

Posted at 10:53 PM, Jun 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-02 13:55:32-04

Establishment owners complain food trucks are benefiting from a city food truck ordinance that lacks structure and specifications on parking and restaurant taxes.

Brandon Henery, general manager of Michael’s Cantina at the Market says food trucks park on city streets for long stretches of time and take away brick-and-mortar’s restaurant business.

He also says food trucks should pay the 2.5 percent restaurant tax.

"If you are a restaurant serving hot food to customers who are paying for it, you should be paying the restaurant tax,” says Henery.

Kelly Keegan, president of the Omaha Food Trucks says they have no problem paying the tax in exchange for them to be legal.

"We're happy to do whatever the city will do - whatever the city deems proper to make it legal for us to be able around the city where we aren't currently legal,” says Keegan.

Parking has also become a big concern for restaurants.

“They just get to come and park in front of my place at eleven o’clock and scoot away at one when the lunch rush is over and come back at five and do the same thing for the dinner rush and poach customers out of my pocket," says Henery.

The mayor told the World Herald the proposal would require food trucks to register with the city and pay a fee, and forbid them from selling near restaurants or on private party without permission from the restaurants.