California Proposes Taxing Pet CarePublished February 5, 2009
By: Jo Singer I am worried! Very worried! It seems that California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is planning to support a pending legislation which will help bolster the state's economy by defining veterinary care for sick, diseased or distressed animals as a "luxury" item. A proposed 10.5% tax may be levied on veterinary medical services. Veterinarians will be taxed in the same manner as any other commercial vender, equating a beloved pet to other items which are now taxable. With 15 million dogs and cats presently residing in California, living with responsible owners, almost $2.75 billion are spent on veterinary care. This does not include the cost of pet food and other necessary supplies. With the economy strangling in dire straits, I cannot get my head wrapped around what I consider to be insanity. Photo credit: Jim Arnold http://www.jarnoldphoto.biz/ With rising unemployment, and folks forced to sacrifice what are actual luxury items, such as fancy cars and big screen TVs, I cannot understand why the state of California is planning to single out and penalize pet owners for taking prudent care of their animals. Rising veterinary costs alone often make it difficult and often impossible for caring and responsible owners to provide routine veterinary care, which often results in difficult and painful choices in how to spend their dollars. As far as I am concerned this proposed tax contradicts the tireless work in which animal welfare groups are involved, to raise public awareness about the importance of proper veterinary care. These veterinary services are not a luxury, they are a necessity! Should this "luxury" tax pass, many people will be discouraged from providing the care that their animals require. Just because they choose to bring an animal into their home do they need to be punished? The cost of neutering and spaying may be out of reach for many, so animal population control will be deleteriously affected. Who is going to bear the cost of these unwanted animals's care? But what most concerns me the most, if this bill passes, is the effect it may have on the rest of the country. Perhaps other states will then join the bandwagon to raise needed funds. Then pet ownership will be almost impossible for many of us. California pet owners can raise their voice protesting this plan by informing Governor Schwarzenegger that this is unacceptable, by calling his office. Since this is an automated call, it takes about 20 seconds to participate. Pick up your phone and call 1- 916-445-2841. Then press 1 for English. Press 5 for the veterinary tax proposal. You will be asked to press 1 if you are calling about the veterinary tax proposal. Then press 1. Then press 2 to oppose the tax. Share this information with your California friends and family as well. If California pet lovers can defeat this bill, it will certainly have the desired impact upon the rest of the Country. Please take action before it is too late. What is your opinion of Governor Schwarzenegger's support of this pending legislation? Do you agree or disagree? Please leave a comment and share your thoughts.
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