Tax our soda, our liqueur - but our pets?

When I spoke to then Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley on my radio show, and complained about what was then Cook County Board President Todd Stroger's impending sales tax hike - I was only kidding when I said, 'Next thing you know, they'll be taxing our pets."

In California that's just what happened - as Governor Arnold wanted to tax veterinary visits, though happily his proposal was defeated.
Now, in Massachusetts, there's a proposal to add another $4 state surcharge on dog licensing fees.

While I have no problem with a differential license (paying more for a dog license for pets not spayed or neutered), it seems this proposal may actually be a tax on our pets. $4 is affordable - so am I overreacting? Or should I even go so far as to erase this post fearing President Stroger will see this and want to place a tax on our pets, on their veterinary visits or an additional surcharge on pet food.

I thank my Facebook friend (and my real friend) Leslie Spiller for sending me this story.


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  • Thanks, once again, Steve, for keeping us informed. This is beyond ridiculous. People who make a conscience decision to adopt a pet realize that they are taking on a considerable expense (or at least they do once they go though the adoption counseling and read a legitimate adoption contract). Veterinary care in many instances is fairly expensive and comparable to human medical care. I shudder to think, especially in this economy, how many will forego veterinary care for their pets if this were to happen. How many animals will NOT find homes if they are taxed? Do we tax our children? Many people's pets are endeared to them in much the same way. Why would they even consider such an outrageous tax that will only aid in causing a larger problem of un-adopted or uncared for pets? I think this is stupid!

  • The problem is that the state and federal governments seem to think that small taxes here and there won't be fought... but we're being hit incrementally left and right and these small taxes add up quickly.

    Yeah, it's a small amount of money, if you have only one pet. But what about people on limited incomes that have more than one animal?

    Taxachusetts -- they don't call it that for nuttin"!

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