Shreveport’s few ice cream trucks operate without a lot of special consideration from local government.
Unlike food trucks, which were recently covered in a new city ordinance, ice cream trucks are required only to have a basic occupational business license. They will pay back 1/10 of 1 percent of their gross revenues in license taxes.
“We’re making a square fit around a circle because the city has never had a special ordinance for ice cream trucks,” Shreveport Revenue Department Collection Manager James Bowie said. “It’s very gray. We have so few it’s never been anything that’s become a priority.”
Bowie said there are about five ice cream trucks licensed to operate in Shreveport. They are all independent businesses, he said.
The Law: No special ordinance exists governing the activities of ice cream trucks. The trucks cannot be issued a peddlers’ license, Bowie said, because they operate on public property. Peddlers and itinerant must be on private property with the permission of the owner.
The Expert: “The mobility is the difference between an ice cream truck and a food truck,” Bowie said. “This is a question I’ve personally thought about. What do we do about them?”
Bowie said there aren’t enough of those ice cream trucks roaming the city to merit their own ordinance or code. Stop-and-go operating on public property keeps them outside all current ordinances, he said.
Ice cream trucks are expected to answer to Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals inspections, Bowie said.