Good report, bad coverage

15 Nov 2010

The much-ballyhooed report released by the NYC Budget Office on Tuesday was …. basically correct. Its findings? That NYC vending regulations are convoluted and enforced in an inconsistent manner. Correct! That vendors do pay their taxes (or, at least, there’s no evidence that they don’t). Correct! That the city wastes a lot of money chasing and ticketing vendors – including $5.9 million a year on the infamous “Peddler Squad”. Couldn’t have said it better ourselves!    

So what’s our problem with the report? That the press didn’t pay any attention to those findings. The headlines (“Vendors Cost the City Millions,” “Greasy Street Vendors Slip through City’s Fingers”) focused on the outstanding fines vendors owe, without even noting that all fines must be paid before vendors renew their licenses.  At least Metro got it right. Their cover page read “Give our street vendors a break

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