Carol Bird, a member of a local group of artists and crafters calling themselves “Artistic Divas &Dudes,” said she’s at wit’s end after routinely getting what she says is the “run-around” from the Pahrump Town Office.
The issue involves obtaining permits from the town to legally sell their wares at various community events throughout the year.
The group holds informal monthly meetings to exchange information and resolve problems relating to the town’s issuance of state license exemptions, sales taxes and a permit required by the town for a temporary sales permit.
Earlier this year, town officials initiated a new process for local residents partaking in the selling of goods in and around town.
Bird said the new process is too confusing.
“I never have a problem with the Department of Taxation because they have a process that is clean, crisp and easy to understand,” Bird said. “I have spent the better part of 2014 asking questions and attending meetings in an effort to negotiate the town’s process, or should I say, the lack thereof,” she said.
In March, the Pahrump Town Board hired a code enforcement officer to make sure residents are complying with ordinances for the selling of goods.
Prior to the action, motorists would routinely see individuals on Saturdays and Sundays selling anything from fruit and produce to tamales and beyond at intersections around the valley.
With the hiring of the town’s code enforcement officer, those same individuals are not nearly as visible at present.
Bird said “The town does not have a process in place to keep track of which vendor has paid their monies for a 30-day period,” she said. “It is the vendor’s responsibility to obtain the proper paperwork to cover the town’s permitting process, responsibility does not fall on the organizer.”
Holecheck said she’s quite familiar with Bird’s quandary and has tried more than once to explain the process but believes Bird is confused on how the process actually works.
She noted the distinct differences in permits for a local vendor and a temporary seller’s permit, which she said is quite reasonable.
Charges for the temporary seller’s permit is $5 for a 30-day period.
“A vendor is when it’s a town-sponsored event like the Fall Festival then it’s not the same,” she said. “I’ve worked with Carol, but she doesn’t understand that Bob Ruud has fees, or what the difference is between a vendor and a temporary seller permit.”
Holecheck also noted that she has actually waived fees for Bird and her group when they gather at a town venue.
“Carol usually conducts several craft shows a year and she rents the Bob Ruud,” Holecheck said. “We have tried so hard to work with Ms. Bird and in fact, the first time she came into the office complaining about this new fee at the Bob Ruud, I actually waived the $200 fee for her, but she never thanked anyone for that and went to the board to seek additional reductions.”
Since the board enacted a temporary seller’s permit charge, Holecheck said “It is her responsibility to collect the $5, and get the crafter to verify they are responsible for sales tax and are not under any child support order.”
“The key word is temporary,” Holecheck said. “Temporary is not an event that is held every single Saturday or Sunday of the month because that would become a business.”
As of January, Bird said she will have to approach county officials in regards to vendor and temporary seller permits for future community events.