District food trucks began charging sales tax Monday.
Trucks tacked on a 10 percent sales tax – the same as restaurants in the city, in line with regulations approved by the D.C. Council last spring. They will be required to pay at least $1,500 in taxes to the city each year.
In past years, all trucks paid a flat rate of $1,500 for the year. Starting this week, trucks will be charged beyond that figure if they bring in more than $375 in sales taxes per fiscal quarter.
The tax is expected to increase city revenue by $3.45 million over the next four years, according to the city’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer.
Ardy Hedayati, owner of the Halal food truck DC Doner, which frequents Foggy Bottom, said the tax is a burden to his business and many of his customers.
“I don’t like it, but I have to charge it,” Hedayati said.
Local restaurant owners complained in February 2011 that food trucks took away business from brick-and-mortar restaurants but incurred fewer expenses and did not pay into the city’s tax pot.
“It is a good thing for food trucks to be able to serve as a means to provide additional revenue to the District, and another way in which food trucks are contributing to our local economy and community,” the D.C. Food Truck Association said in a Sept. 26 statement regarding the new tax policy.
There are 118 registered food trucks in D.C., according to FoodTruckFiesta.com.