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There will be NO California tax on veterinary care this year. Whew!

By Gary Bogue
Friday, February 20th, 2009 at 7:23 am in Pets, Veterinarians, Veterinary Tax Proposal.

Jasmine visits her veterinarian, Dr. Brisbin.
kiki teeth age

Thanks for writing or calling the Governor to protest this unreasonable tax. As you can see, it helped! Thanks for caring. /Gary

The California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) today thanked Gov. Schwarzenegger and the California Legislature for responding to the public’s opposition to a tax on veterinary care.

The state Legislature passed a 17-month budget that did not include the governor’s earlier proposal to broaden the sales and use tax to include veterinary services.

Leaders of the two organizations that work on behalf of animals and those who care for them expressed their appreciation for the final outcome regarding taxation of veterinary services in the budget bill.

“Requiring pet owners to pay a tax to care for their animals is bad public policy,” said William Grant, II, DVM, president of the CVMA. “We are pleased members of the ‘Big Five’, including the governor, recognized that and the proposed tax was removed from the final budget bill.”

“On behalf of our 1.3 million California constituents, we are very grateful to California’s leaders for recognizing the financial injury associated with the proposed Fido Fine,” said Sacramento-based Jennifer Fearing, chief economist for The HSUS. “This tax would almost certainly have resulted in less medical care for animals and more dogs and cats landing in animal shelters. It was a flawed idea that would’ve been a step backward in the otherwise progressive trajectory toward more humane treatment of animals in our state.”

Thousands of Californians called an automated phone number established by the governor’s office to allow residents to express their support or opposition for the governor’s proposal to tax veterinary services.

“The opposition of veterinarians, pet owners and concerned citizens was so intense, a special extension was added to the governor’s budget voicemail line to handle the opposition to the tax on pets,” Grant said. “We believe the overwhelming number of calls delivered an emphatic message to the governor that taxing pet owners would be hugely unpopular and inequitable.”

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.

Agreeing with one of CVMA’s arguments against the proposal, the California Legislative Analyst’s Office noted the tax on veterinary services “would create inequities in the tax structure by taxing some services while leaving other similar services untaxed.”

“We know the fight to protect animal care from taxation is not over,” emphasized Grant. “Our membership remains firmly opposed to taxes that will force our clients to make untenable decisions affecting the quality of life for their pets and that might put our food supply at risk. It was wrong last week and it will be wrong next year.”

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No Responses to “There will be NO California tax on veterinary care this year. Whew!”

  1. Barbara Says:

    Great news! Lots of things from our politicians just don’t make a whole lot of sense. This one, however, surpassed the “stupidest” column.

    From the medical aspect so many animals are used for companionship or as service animals. If THESE animals were going to be excluded from the tax, who was going to make the determination, and upon what basis?

    My cat is not a service animal. Regardless, one year later (after the initial discovery, and after I end his Methimazole treatments in about 3 weeks) he gets to go in for ANOTHER test prior to his radiology treatments for hyperthyroid.

    I was being “dissed” for taking care of a cat!

    Thanks for bringing this nonsensical proposal to our attention.

  2. Suzanne Economon Says:

    Great news! I had started a cause of Facebook and am going to let all of the members who have helped out!

  3. travel Says:

    Right on !! Damn I’m getting addicted to your blog :)

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