News of a California “Pet Tax” is not an April Fools joke. A tax on pet services has been proposed legislation since winter 2008.
Last year, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was pushing a tax on pet services, that include veterinary bills. Says reports in fall 2008:
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a plan Thursday that would extend sales tax to include veterinary services, among other services, to help fix the state’s $11.2 billion shortfall.
“We have drastic problems that require drastic and immediate action — we must stop the bleeding right now,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement.
Hawaii, New Mexico, and South Dakota are the only states that tax veterinary medical services, including routine exams and vaccinations, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s state tax summary report. While California does not tax ancillary services, such as grooming and boarding, or prescription medications, it does tax non-prescription products, as do 33 other states.
By December 2008, the measure, often referred to as the California Vet Service Tax, had failed. But in January, concerns grew the measure could get slid into new tax legislation from the Governor. In February, pet owners finally learned the tax would not be added to proposed new state tax policies. Following efforts by the California VMA, the tax was dead.
CVMA said: “Requiring pet owners to pay a tax to care for their animals is bad public policy”.