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Governor Lee signs bill to cut red tape on food truck owners and operators
Published May 19, 2023; 1:43 a.m.

KNOXVILLE – House Bill 814, by State Representative Elaine Davis of Knoxville, was introduced to help cut “red tape” and simplify the fire permitting process for food truck owners.

Under current law food truck owners must pay multiple fees and obtain numerous fire permits and inspections from local governments if they conduct business in multiple cities and counties.

With the adoption by the General Assembly and signing by Governor Lee of House Bill 814, a new state fire permit with a high standard for safety will be created that would exempt a food truck owner from having to acquire additional local fire permits. This will streamline the process by having one inspection by the State Fire Marshal thereby reducing expenses for those businesses while maintaining adherence to high safety standards. This is an option for business owners who decide using the state option will save their business time and money.

“Making it easier for businesses to create jobs and serve our community is a priority for me,” said Representative Davis. “I will continue to work hard for workers and business owners in Knox County to make sure we cut red tape and simplify government processes.”

According to The Institute for Justice, a national nonprofit law firm that supports entrepreneurs, “they worked closely with a coalition of food trucks to encourage legislators to pass the bill.”

John Gabriel, owner of Forks on the Road, was one of the first food truck operators in the Knox County area. He said, “I appreciate Elaine’s work on this bill that acknowledges the costly process that food truck operators must contend with. The time and expense would be so high at times that it became prohibitive to operate in some areas.”

“The passage of this legislation opens doors for food truck operators by removing the additional burdensome costs and time required to obtain multiple permits to operate in several counties and cities,” said Sarah Hanych, a new Knox County based food truck owner called Hungary Czech. “This will now allow food truck operators to better serve their customers and bring their unique food to more people to enjoy.”

The National Federation of Independent Business supported the legislation because it greatly reduced “the burden for food truck operators.”


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