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SCVNews.com | County Changing Health Permit Fees for Tattoo Parlors, Food Trucks | 07-20-2012
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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will review a staff proposal Tuesday to alter the way health permit fees are assessed for tattoo parlors and food trucks.

As proposed, the fees would go down for tattoo parlors but up for individual body art practitioners.

Food trucks would be allowed to pull a single permit to appear at multiple events in the same location.

For instance, today, if Baby’s Badass Burgers wants to cater every Concert in the Park this summer at Central Park, it would have to pull a new health permit every month. If the supervisors approve the change, Baby’s would be able to pull just one permit for the whole year.

Prompting the change was the state’s adoption of Assembly Bill 300, the Safe Body Art Act. The act requires tattoo parlors and practitioners to register with the local authority each year (in our case, the Los Angeles County Health Department) and “comply with specified requirements, including, among
other things, client information and questionnaires, vaccination, bloodborne pathogen training and sanitation.”

Per a county staff report, fees are intended to offset the actual costs of county licenses, permits and services.

The county currently charges body art establishments $783 per year for a health permit. The report from county Health Officer Jonathan D. Fielding, M.D., indicates that’s too much. Fielding proposes splitting body art establishments into categories for the purpose of assessing fees. Those with 1 to 3 practitioners (tattoo artists) would be charged $368. Those with 4 or more would be charged $443.

Individual practitioners must be licensed, as well. At present, the county requires them to register with the Health Department every three years for $47.

But under the language of AB 300, practitioners must register annually with the local enforcement agency, just like a body art establishment.

The county’s charge of $47 wouldn’t change, but thanks to AB 300, it would be incurred three times as often – every year, rather than every three.

Similarly, fees for food trucks wouldn’t change – just the frequency (but less often).

The proposal for food trucks is really an expansion of what’s allowed at certified farmers markets. Current county codes allow food trucks to file permits once a year for multiple certified farmers market days. As proposed, the words  “certified farmers market” would be replaced with “multiple community events held at a single location.”

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