Thursday, February 19, 2009

California Pet Owners Avoid Vet Tax

The California State Legislature today passed a 17-month budget that did not include Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's earlier proposal to broaden the sales and use tax to include veterinary services.

“Requiring pet owners to pay a tax to care for their animals is bad public policy,” said William Grant, II, DVM, president of the California Veterinary Medical Association.

The budget proposal to extend the sales tax to veterinary services could have added up to 10 percent to the cost of caring for animals in California, according to the state Legislative Analyst’s office. This would endanger the health and well-being of animals kept as pets, raised on farms, or sheltered by humane agencies.

Humane Society of the United States chief economist Jennifer Fearing said the tax would have resulted in fewer animal receiving medical care and more animals landing in the shelters.

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