CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The City Council gave final approval June 6 to an ordinance that increases peddlers permit fees and updates provisions relative to peddlers that had been in the City Code since 1963.
The old code had called for a $2 fee to obtain a peddler's permit, which was way out of date and fell far short of the actual costs in 2019 to process a permit application.
The new code would establish a $40 non-refundable application fee, and an updated application process. The applicant would pay $100 for the actual permit. If the application is not approved, the $100 permit fee would be refunded to the applicant.
According to the City's Finance & Revenue Department, the $40 application fee is based on the actual cost of time and administration associated with reviewing and investigating the application. The $100 permit fee would cover additional issuance costs and enforcement of the permit. The fee is consistent with other business permits and processes in the City Code.
The new code shifts issuance of the peddler's permit from the City Clerk to the City’s Finance & Revenue Department.
The definition of a peddler is updated in the new code, but it still includes door-to-door salespersons or solicitors, "itinerant merchants," and mobile operations such as food trucks.
According to the ordinance approved June 6, the code is not applicable "to persons selling at wholesale to dealers, nor to newsboys, nor to bona fide merchants who merely deliver goods in a regular course of business, nor to bona fide charitable, religious, patriotic or philanthropic organizations."
In other words, the code does not ban door-to-door sales of Girl Scout cookies or other door-to-door non-profit fundraising sales operations.