The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Friday, June 01, 2007

Pet Tax?

Posted by Seeking Solace |

I shop at a local organic pet food store for the Boy. Yesterday, there was a TV crew for a local TV station doing a story about a proposed law in my state that would charge an additional 3% sales tax on all pet food and pet products. The 3% would go to animal shelters across the state.

Sounds good in theory...

Here's the rub. I currently pay 8.25% sales tax in my county. That means that each time I purchase dog food or other items for the Boy, I will pay 11.25% in sales tax. I just can't get behind that even if it's for a good cause.

Now, before any of you get your panties bunched up, understand this. I donate an obscene amount of money to many different shelters and animal charities. I am also a SPCA volunteer. All of my pups have come from shelters or adoption programs. I am quite aware of the wonderful work these groups do and the help they so desperately need. But I question if a tax is the way to help them.

Consider this...

  • Many groups, like the SPCA, do not receive government funding. What happens to those groups? Are they just out of luck?
  • The tax only targets pet owners. Why target pet owners when the plight of animals should be a concern for all?
  • How is the money going to be used? Will it help to set up programs to encourage spaying and neutering? How about programs to prevent cruelty? Or, is the money just going to line some politician's pocket?
  • Are taxes really the answer? Why is it that when government sees a problem, they figure the best way to solve it is come up with some kind of tax?
  • How about changing the law so that pets must be spayed or neutered unless you receive a special license for breeding? How about tougher laws for cruelty cases. Most laws make animal cruelty a misdemeanor, which is usually reduced so that there is minimal time in jail, if any.
  • How about tax incentives for pet adoption?
  • Retailers will have no choice but to jack up the cost of pet food and supplies to make up for the tax. So, the consumer is being nailed twice.
  • What about those who are on fixed incomes? How will the increase affect them?
I will continue to donate as much money and time as I can to help the plight of unwanted animals. I just don't think a pet tax is the answer.

What do you think? Bark back!


Arbitrista said...

Deja Vu. The idiot mayor in my home town tried this and got crucified. He was indicted not long after - not because of the pet tax, but the sequence was suspicious! :)

Kai said...

I'm all for animals too, but a tax definitely isn't the answer. Pet owners are the most likely to ALREADY be giving what they can to those organizations and we should definitely be allowed to choose for ourselves what organizations get our money. 11.25% in tax is INSANE!

Seeking Solace said...

Arbitrista: I am time? Political scandal avoidance??? Do tell, if you can!

Kai: That is also a good point. Most people who own pets already donate to animal causes.

Astroprof said...

Definitely a bad idea. As you say, it penalizes pet owners. Hmm. If they insist on a pet tax, though, how about charging extra for a license for a non spayed/neutered pet?

shrinkykitten said...

In theory, I would support this - but there are so many elderly people with pets (many on a fixed income, like you say), and I would hate for them to be unduly penalized. And what about people (like me) who are feeding strays? Maybe if the tax was on everything but food? I'd hate to see anyone unable to feed their pets.

I would, however, support a tax on animals purchased from breeders or stores, etc. If they can afford to buy (rather than adopt) a pet - they can afford an extra tax - and there might be better money in that anyway.

More generally - I would just prefer to see my taxes go to causes I want to support - humane societies, rape crisis centers, battered women's shelters, education, etc. I would love it if you could direct at least some tax money.

doggy mama said...

I just don't trust the government to tell us the truth about our taxes go. I, too, give a lot of my money to animal organizations. And I like to know EXACTLY where my money is going. So I totally understand where you're coming from.

Ellen said...

Hmmmm- this makes sense - you are a doggy mama - it is only fair that you have to shoulder the entire cost. But the rebate from what you save from not being a human mama should more than offset it since they would offset it refunding all the money you put into the school system for those who have human kids.

What - that's not part of the deal?

I smell Bullshit.....

Phdladybug said...

I really don't think this makes any sense. It's probably pet owners who are the more involved with SPCA or other organizations.

I honestly think we should look to solve the problems why SPCA exists in the first place and why animals are getting abandoned. And education would be a nice solution.

Taxes? Aren't we contributing enough? (I am paying 15% in sales taxes, thanks!) And, by the way, do you have to own a license to have a dog? Here in Canada we do need one and it costs from 30 to 40$ here depending on the municipality. Shoudn't part of this money go to these organizations instead of the governement's pockets?

Seeking Solace said...

Phdladybug: Excellent point. In the US, you must license your pet and the license does cost $. I doubt if any of the proceeds go to animal welfare.