Subject: Oppose Fee Hikes for Kentucky Small Food Businesses!

Hi Friend,

The Kentucky Department for Public Health has approved huge fee increases for small-scale food manufacturers!

Under the old regulations, the permit fee for food manufacturing was based on the square footage of the facility. Small operations paid $120 per year for a food manufacturing permit. The permit fees increased with the size of the operation, with the largest manufacturers paying $600 per year.

The new fee structure is instead based on the agency’s assessment of risk, which is based on the product made rather than size of the operation. A “low risk” food manufacturer would be assessed a $750 fee, while a “high risk” one would have to pay $2,400.

While everyone would see some sort of fee increase, small producers would be hit the worst. A small food manufacturer would see their fees increase anywhere from $630 to $2,280 per year—increases of 625% to 2,000%!

The regulation also creates a new requirement that cosmetic manufacturers produce their products in a commercial kitchen and imposes a $300 annual permit fee on them (where before there was none).

The agency’s justification for the permit fee hike is the cost of doing the inspections. But its numbers are not credible. The agency claims it costs approximately $150 per hour to cover an inspector’s salary and benefits (retirement, payroll taxes, health insurance, and life insurance)—which would come to an annual expense of $300,000 per inspector. If accurate, the agency should focus on cutting its costs, not gouging small businesses!

Moreover, the new fees ignore the size of an operation, which clearly impact how long it takes to do an inspection. The agency estimates that it will take 55 hours to inspect a business that makes ready-to-eat time/temperature controlled foods. This category covers a massive, multi-million dollar facility as well as a small baker that makes cheesecakes. The assumption that it will take 55 hours to inspect the small baker is ridiculous. Yet that small baker and the huge corporate facility would both pay $2,400 in annual fees under the proposed rule.

Please see below for suggested action steps.

Alexia Kulwiec
Executive Director
Take Action #1

The agency is accepting public comments through August 31, 2020 via these methods:

MAIL: Donna Little, Deputy Executive Director, Office of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, 275 East Main Street 5 W-A, Frankfort, KY 40621
FAX: 502-564-7091

The agency is also holding a public meeting on August 24, 2020 to take comments in person.

WHERE: Suites A&B, Health Services Building, First Floor, 275 East Main Street, Frankfort, KY 40621
WHAT: Email the agency that you plan to attend, and then plan what you’ll say. While the notice does not mention a time limit, public comments at these sorts of hearings are often limited to 3 minutes, so focus on 2-3 key points you want to make.

Thank you for taking action!
Take Action #2

Call and email your Kentucky State Representative and Senator and urge them to step in. These fee increases would be inappropriate at any time—but they’re outrageous during an economic crisis when small businesses are going under in record numbers, unemployment is at an all time high, and people need more access to food!

You can look up who represents you at Click on the link for their bio page, and you can find both their phone number and email address.
More Info

Read the regulation at

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