A bit of drama flared up yesterday as apparently Mayor Gray tweeted a couple of food trucks with the following: goal is to have final version of new regs to Council by end of calendar year.

That wasn’t tweeted publicly, so I don’t have a way of verifying it, but it definitely seems to indicate that the Mayor has no concern over the October 1 deadline whereby DC food trucks will be forced to pay sales taxes.  The unofficial deal is that DC food trucks would start to be taxed in conjunction with receiving updated vending regulations.

Below is the DCFTA’s statement:

DCFTA Statement about Mayor’s Decision to Send Vending Regulations Back to Drawing Board

Thursday morning two members of the Washington, DC Food Trucks Association (DCFTA) received a tweet from Mayor Vincent Gray informing them that he is meeting with District agencies about new food truck regulations that he proposed in January and that his “goal is to have final version of new regs to Council by end of calendar year.”

“This is unacceptable,” said Tom MacDonald, spokesman for the Washington, DC Food Trucks Association (DCFTA). “Mayor Gray’s office put forward these regulations after working on them for over a year, and he received more than 3,200 letters in support of submitting them to City Council for their review. However, Mayor Gray is sending his proposal back to the drawing board because a few moneyed, well-connected groups oppose them.

“We need regulations that work. Current vending rules state that police can shut down a food truck if it is without a line of waiting customers, require multiple license holders per business and contain other regulations written nearly 40 years ago that everyone — including the Mayor — recognizes need to be updated. Every day that passes without new vending regulations is another day that the individuals and families who operate DC Food Trucks are at risk to sustain their businesses.

“The Mayor’s decision to send regulations back to the drawing board for a second time also ignores a recent proposal for food trucks to collect sales tax on behalf of the District, which, unless sections of the current vending rules change, opens the door for food trucks to be double taxed and makes individual employees responsible for the business’s taxes.

“Instead of listening to the people, Mayor Gray chose to listen to the roughly 1 percent of comments opposed to new food truck regulations that were submitted by groups with access, resources and relationships with the Mayor that the DC Food Truck Community does not.

“The fact that food truck owner-operators — whose livelihoods are affected more than anyone else by changing regulations — had to learn over Twitter that the proposed regulations were being rewritten just demonstrates how shut out of this process we are.

“Those who opposed this year’s proposal to change vending regulations opposed it in 2010. Opponents of new food truck regulations have shown — twice now — that their objective is to prevent new regulations from moving forward in an effort to eliminate competition and limit consumer choice.

“The DCFTA hopes that after a more complete review of the comments the Mayor presents his regulations, as proposed in January, to the City Council for its review.”