Please consider writing your NC state legislators and asking them to reverse new requirements which make farmers markets monitor the sales tax status of their vendors. This requirement is burdensome in that it over-extends are already busy volunteers and detracts from other market activities.
You can read more about these requirements over on Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s website.
Below is a sample e-mail that you can send to your legislator, who you can locate on the North Carolina General Assembly website.
Representative *INSERT NAME*,
In response to the changes to N.C.G.S. § 66-255 and its application to specialty markets (see here to the legislative analysis from the NC Farm Bureau and Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project – http://fromhere.org/news/new-nc-legislation-n-c-g-s-%C2%A7-66-255-to-impact-farmers-markets/), I respectfully request that you make an effort to remove this requirement from the farmers markets.
I certainly understand the need to ensure that the State collects the money that its due, but, this regulation represents one more hoop that detracts farmers markets from their core missions. The regulatory burden on farmers markets is already onerous in that individuals who are volunteering to bring a service to their community which feeds people, provides farmers with an accessible marketplace, and encourages entrepreneurship (within a venue that is unmatched in its value for startup businesses) get caught up in trying to understand a confusing myriad of rules at all levels of government.
I feel that it’s irresponsible to make the farmers market complicit in aiding to collect sales tax. Farmers markets simply provide a temporary rental space for vendors to engage in the sales of their wares (similar to say a mall or shopping center). The relationship is that of a tenant and a landlord and it’s an overstep to imply that a landlord has any responsibility in ensuring that the tenant is paying their basic civic debts.
Please consider revising this legislation and allowing farmers market volunteers to return to our actual mission rather than overwhelming community oriented folks who may not be well versed in accounting and tax issues with this unnecessary bureaucratic process.