That’s what regulations are for, right? To keep people safe from themselves and from people who keep food and beverage vending machines in their businesses without a special notice on the side that requires that you report any machine without the notice. Wait, what?
From John Stossel’s blog:
I had to read it a few times and then contact the officials who required it to discover that the only point of the sign is: it’s illegal to not have it. Is this some bureaucrat’s idea of a practical joke?
The Florida Department of Revenue lists the law on its website. We called them and asked if there was a reason for the law.
Spokeswoman Renee Watters responded: “A vending machine operator that does not place the notice on the machine presumably is not in compliance with the other requirements such as registration and payment of the tax.”
So there is a reason, after all: If a businessman fails to notice the regulation – it’s conveniently located in Rule 12A-1.044(4)(b) of the Florida Administrative Code, by the way – it’s a tip-off to the authorities that he might have failed to follow some of their other confusing regulations.
But even if he is in compliance with registration and taxes, lack of the notice could still land him a $250 fine.
Sounds good for government. But bad for entrepreneurs, who shouldn’t have to spend time worrying about insane rules.
So, if any of you Floridians happen to see a machine without that required special notice, use the number on the notice to report it… Oh wait.