Food Trucks

Steven Greenhut on California's Food Truck Shakedown

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We would all laugh at a man who, sinking in millions of dollars in house payments, car loans, and credit card bills, decided to fix his problem by looking for spare quarters lurking behind the cushions of his sofas. Likewise, we should shake our heads at the way the state of California—with a budget deficit approaching $16 billion and hundreds of billions of dollars in unfunded pension and retiree medical benefits—is stepping up tax collection to help plug a hole caused by its chronic overspending. As Steven Greenhut reports, California food truck owners say the state is handing them tax bills for tens of thousands of dollars based on unrealistic estimates of their taxable sales. To make matters worse, the truck owners say that local police harass them—thanks in part to city officials that don't like having the trucks around. So much for encouraging economic enterprise.