The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is proposing to increase the cost of Vending Machine Licenses from $3.00 to $20.00 per machine! That’s a 567% increase!
The impact of this legislation upon our small industry would substantially increase the cost of business for vending operators, would surely make the products more expensive for the consumer and would likely force some vending operators out of business.
DPH justifies this as necessary to underwrite costs of an anticipated increase in inspections due to Healthy Food regulations promulgated by HHS – and nutritional disclosures mandated by the US Affordable Care Act. On the first issue, this applies only to machines in public school locations which constitute a very small percent of the vending machines in Massachusetts, and on the second issue the FDA has yet to issue guidelines. We believe these are ill conceived agendas to punish an industry the DPH dislikes.
The Massachusetts Vending Association has been actively opposing this increase. MVA members testified on behalf of the industry on March 14, 2012 at a DPH hearing on the license fee increase and will be carrying our message to Beacon Hill soon.
MVA members testify at DPH hearing
MVA members testify at DPH hearing on March 14, 2012. From left: Dennis Surprenant, Rich Conrad, Steve Foley, Bob Frotten, Charles Brinkmann, Pat Arone, Jeff Terban and Steve Murphy
The MVA has also created a petition at Change.org (see below), started a sticker campaign for our memebrs’ machines, created letters to be sent to our legislators, and is gearing up for a grassroots campaign to counter this unfairincrease! You can help! go to www.change.org and sign our petition “Tell Mass. DPH: NO Increase to Vending Machine Fees!” (You can find our petition by searching under ‘vending fees’. Text of MVA’s Change.org petition:
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has proposed to increase vending machine license fees by 567% per machine. This is an outrageous increase on an industry that embodies the term “small business entrepreneurs.” The impact upon these businesses would be substantially increasing the cost of business for vending operators. It will surely make the products more expensive for the consumer and would likely force some vending operators out of business.
Vending machines provide a wide variety of food products to customers in many locations where other options are not easily accessible. Vending machines can be found in recreational facilities, in colleges and universities, in public and private schools and in hospitals and nursing homes. We are in business where convenience stores and cafeterias cannot be located, we provide immediate access to food, drinks and snacks and we are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We serve the public.
Vending companies pay income taxes, payroll taxes, real estate taxes, personal property taxes, fuel taxes, to name the most common. We pay registration fees, various operating license fee and tolls all supporting the government’s taxation on our businesses. We hire local employees who contribute in their own ways to the local economies and pay their fair share of taxes.
This proposed increase is exorbitant. The fees charged by the Department of Health for most businesses Is several hundred dollars. This increase will “tax” vending companies in the thousands of dollars. It could result in some job losses and surely will affect the prices of your vending favorites.
Help us by signing our petition and locudly proclaining to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health your opposition to this proposed increase. Say NO to this proposal.