RUMOR CONTROL – There have been several rumors circulating about the relationship between the City of Lebanon and the Lebanon Farmers’ Market on social media. We always want to be transparent with the community, so here are the facts:
RUMOR 1 – The City of Lebanon Operates the Lebanon Farmer’s Market. – FALSE
TRUTH – The City of Lebanon owns the facility (now known as “The Market”) utilized by the Lebanon Farmers’ Market (a separate organization). The farmers’ market is its own entity which leases the property from the City on Saturdays and Wednesdays. The lease was authorized by the Lebanon City Council on March 28, 2016, and renews annually, unless either party chooses to suspend the agreement. Lease fees are distributed to the Lebanon Downtown Business District for investment into Downtown Lebanon.
RUMOR 2 – The City charges farmers market vendors for an itinerant vendor’s license to make a profit and to collect tax revenue. – FALSE
TRUTH – The City DOES require an itinerant vendors license which is available FREE OF CHARGE to farmers’ market vendors by contacting Code Administration at Lebanon Public Works. Produce vendors ARE NOT required to pay sales taxes if their sales are less than $25,000 annually. This exemption DOES NOT apply to vendors that buy and resell produce, and it also does not apply to craft vendors unless they are 65 years of age or older. The State of Missouri does require those who are not exempt from taxes to have a tax id number. Also, the Missouri Department of Agriculture has restrictions on how each type of produce can be sold and requires a certified scale for vendors that sell produce by weight – the current scale inspection cost is $17 each year. The State of Missouri also requires vendors of baked goods, jams, and jellies, etc. to have a sales tax license and pay sales taxes. They are also required to abide by restrictions imposed by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the Laclede County Health Department and the Missouri Department of Agriculture Weights and Measures Division. The farmers’ market is also required to follow USDA rules to be able to accept SNAP/EBT benefits.
RUMOR 3 – The City of Lebanon and the farmers’ market requires vendors to be registered as an LLC. – FALSE
TRUTH - The City of Lebanon, nor does the Lebanon Farmers’ Market, require vendors to register as an LLC. Depending on what the vendor is selling, it may be necessary to do so to comply with state regulations.
RUMOR 4 – The Market facility is not available to other organizations. – FALSE
TRUTH – The Market is available for use by outside organizations. Aside from Saturdays and Wednesdays, community members and organizations can reserve the whole facility for $100 a day or a stall for $25. The facility can be reserved at the Cowan Civic Center business offices. The facility is already used on Fridays for Food Truck Fridays, and the Downtown Business District uses the facility for Christmas on Commercial.
RUMOR 5 – The Market pavilion was not needed and does not provide the community with the amenities promised. – FALSE
TRUTH – Lebanon voters approved the farmers’ market facility upgrade upon renewal of the Capital Improvement Sales Tax on Aug. 27, 2018. The ballot language listed a covered pavilion at the farmers’ market facility as a promised capital improvement project. The Lebanon City Council has followed the ballot language and has made the voter’s choice a reality by overseeing the project. A family restroom was constructed at the facility and a second restroom will be added soon thanks to recent Cowan Civic Center renovations coming in under budget.