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A Connecticut Cat Tax?

While not a tax per se, a bill to impose a $15 fee on the purchase of a dog, cat or “other domestic animal” from a municipal shelter received a public hearing on Monday.

Notably, Senate Bill 999 would also require the licensure of cats and other pets and allow the municipality to collect a fee up to $150 for the costs of spaying, neutering or vaccinating the animals.

The licensing for each animal would range from two to fifteen dollars, depending on the type of pet and whether it has been spayed or neutered.

The bill is supported by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities because the measure would provide additional funds for municipal animal shelters, but opponents say the bill is too broad and fees will reduce adoption rates and increase the number of animals that shelters are forced to euthanize.

Annie Hornish, Connecticut senior state director for the Humane Society, opposed the bill saying public participation would likely be low and the cost for administering the program could exceed revenue. 

She also worried the measure would impose fees on people who care for “community cats,” more commonly known as feral cats, which would otherwise be euthanized. “Community cat caregivers do a great public service, largely at private expense, and should be applauded – not handed another financial burden,” Cornish wrote.

Without a clear definition, as written this would require licenses and tags for all animals, from hamsters and guinea pigs to reptiles, and would also include fish.

Courtney Hogan, government affairs manager for the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Committee

Courtney Hogan, government affairs manager for the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Committee, says the language in the bill is too broad, potentially applying to all pets. “Without a clear definition, as written this would require licenses and tags for all animals, from hamsters and guinea pigs to reptiles, and would also include fish.”

The Connecticut Town Clerks Association also testified that licensing cats and other domestic animals would be a “huge added burden to the town clerk’s office,” and offered the idea of creating a statewide, uniform system for dog licensing.

Sources indicate the bill likely originated out of the Department of Agriculture, but so far request for comment has not been returned. 

State Republicans decried the proposal as a “cat tax,” but municipalities have been saying they need more revenue in light of potential state funding cuts and teacher pension cost-sharing measures proposed by Gov. Ned Lamont.

Dog licensing fees brought in $146,100 to the state in 2015.

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Marc E. Fitch

(8) Comments

  1. Linda Wall

    April 21, 2019 10:04 am

    Any animal tax will result in more pets being dropped off in the woods, streets and anywhere else they can. Please no tax on animals.

  2. Diana D

    March 26, 2019 4:27 am

    Lamont this is so MORONIC! A CAT TAX! This will hurt adoptions of animals. Do you want more animals to be put down!! This is INSANE!

    • Carla

      May 17, 2019 1:23 pm

      What idiot thought of this!! There should be a hefty fine for all animal abuse – that would generate money. Or how about this….stop over spending and take a pay cut till you can figure out simple math! You’ve been playing with our money for too long!!! Sick of hearing that we pay for some idiot to write up a nonsense proposal. In the real world you would be fired for wasting company time!

  3. Adam

    March 18, 2019 12:38 pm

    Taxes = money, money = power. Has nothing to do with cats or teachers or budgets and everything to do with hording power. Voters still think it’s for their benefit, hahahahahahahahahaha

  4. Peter Wight

    March 17, 2019 2:01 pm

    NO NO NO NO NO CAT TAX

  5. Patti A Crowley

    March 15, 2019 11:36 am

    This will cause more innocent animals to be put down. I hate Lamont.

  6. Dash Riprock

    March 14, 2019 9:30 pm

    Not a tax per se? BULLSHIT. If government levies a charge, it’s a TAX.

  7. Joe

    March 14, 2019 5:47 pm

    Democrats tax anything that moves.

    Cars, barbers, cats and dogs.

    Anything that moves.

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