PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute Expert Comments on Cook County Food Truck Ruling

Published December 6, 2016

On December 5, the Cook County Circuit Court upheld a 2012 food truck ordinance requiring all trucks to install a GPS tracking system overseen by the city and park at least 200 feet away from any establishment that sells food, including restaurants and grocers. The city says the mandate was put into effect to help spur the growth of the food truck industry, but dozens of independent businesses have been forced to shut down due to increased cost of operation and restricted parking options.

The following statement from Jesse Hathaway, a research fellow and budget/tax expert at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For further comments from him, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Deputy Director of Communications Keely Drukala at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/282-1390.

“Cook County Circuit Court judge Anna Helen Demacopoulos’s decision to uphold a Chicago ordinance restricting where food trucks may or may not operate is a sour loss for consumers and business owners in the Windy City.

“City lawmakers currently require mobile food vendors to install government-issued global positioning system (GPS) trackers on their property, to help facilitate the government’s enforcement of anti-competitive rules, benefitting some business owners at the expense of others.

“Like many examples of government economic tinkering, Chicago’s food truck ordinances benefit connected, established insiders and short-change entrepreneurs, reducing the variety and accessibility of food choices available to consumers. I hope the judge or judges involved in the case’s appeal in higher courts will choose to serve up the benefits of the free market to consumers, instead of dishing out more big-government slop.”

Jesse Hathaway
Managing Editor, Budget & Tax News
Research Fellow,
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]