There are only 3,000 citywide
By Editor | Future of Capitalism
WNYC has a fascinating dispatch on the black market that exists for food-truck permits in New York City:
There are only 3,000 citywide, two-year permits, and there are so many names on the wait list (more than 2,000) that the Department of Health hasn’t taken names since 2007….
Where red-brick residential Brooklyn gives way to a grittier industrial neighborhood, there’s an unmarked asphalt lot where permits can easily be bought and sold.
This is a commissary, a one-stop shop where food truck entrepreneurs can get everything they need: purchase a vehicle, order meat and vegetables — and secure a permit too.
On a recent visit to the lot, WNYC asked about buying a permit. A worker took the reporter into a store room full of jars of mayonnaise and pickles, and dialed a number on a cell phone and handed the phone to the reporter.
The man on the other end of the line, who called himself Mohammed, said he could obtain a second-hand permit in a few days, and it would cost $18,000.
New York City’s Health Department charges just $200 for the same document, so the street value is nearly 100 times higher than the official price.
One way to boost job-creation and wipe out the black market would be for the city to issue many more of these permits.