Big Pet Food Tax for Spay/Neuter
A proposed tax on pet food of $57.50 per ton to help low income residents in Washington State spay or neuter their pets would be the first of its kind in the nation, said the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (Washington).
No tax is imposed on pet food anywhere in the United States beyond sate feed inspection programs. The hefty tax proposed in Washington, which would also be used to fund sterilization of feral and free-roaming cats, is more than 400 times the inspection fee currently imposed on pet food and would result in significant increase in the cost per pound of dog and cat food at the retail level, PIJAC said in a PetAlert.
According to the bill digest, the solution to companion animal overpopulation is a statewide spay/neuter surgery network that should be funded through a fee that is “targeted at the class of Washington residents that is most responsible for companion animals and their impact on our communities: owners of cats and dogs.”
PIJAC argues that putting the burden of funding for the program on responsible pet owners is unfair, discriminatory and inappropriate, and that the money to pay for what it says is primarily a feral cat problem should come out of the Washington general fund instead.
Duane Ekedahl of the Washington based Pet Food Institute testified against the bill in a Jan. 27 hearing before the Agricultural & Rural Economic Development Committee. The bill had not moved out of committee at press time.
Source: Pet Age Magazine April 2009
What are your thoughts?
I don't know what to think about this tax. While I think it is great to give assistance to low income families and I love the idea of fixing feral cats, I just don't know if it is fair to tax others for it. Also increasing the cost of already rising dog food, how ever small or large is not a good thing.
Can some sway me one way or the other? Or give more than the small article stated?