Washington's street vendors, faced with increases in fees for doing business and expansion of restrictions on where goods can be sold, have gotten a reprieve.
"We felt the reaction was somewhat heated," one official said of the city's plan, announced last month, to charge sidewalk vendors up to $1,500 a year to rent spaces that now are available for a small fee.
A public hearing, already postponed once, has been put off indefinitely, the official said, while the city's User Charge Review Committee analyzes the plan. The plan is supported by a vendor task force and the Office of Business and Economic Development.
Vendors are expected to get through the busy spring tourist season before any changes are made, the official said.
The plan would exempt vendors from paying sales taxes, but would impose the fee schedule and site restrictions. The city estimated last month that it could realize as much as $6 million a year in revenue under the plan, compared to the $160,000 it now receives in sales taxes.
Officials estimated that perhaps half the city's more than 5,000 vendors do not get licenses and that many do not pay sales taxes.