The vibrant and eclectic street commerce of New Orleans has been a trademark of the city for generations, but even the oddest entrepreneurs of the Crescent City should be subject to the same rules of trade as other New Orleans merchants.
That’s why we’re heartened by a recent crackdown on street vendors near the Mercedes-Benz Superdome who were operating without the appropriate vendor licenses. Without licenses identifying their businesses, such vendors can avoid paying sales taxes on their merchandise.
That’s not fair to the other merchants who secure proper permits and pay sales taxes to the city’s government.
Given the large number of street vendors in New Orleans, especially during big events such as Saints games, we suspect that the potential loss of revenue to the city could be substantial.
That’s an especially sobering prospect at a time when public budgets are tight and the need for tax revenue is particularly urgent.
In healthy communities, everyone pays a proper share.
We hope the crackdown on street vendors helps advance that ideal.