Pet food tax senseless policy

Americans love their pets. Many people call them or even treat them as if they were children. As the parent of three girls, I see plenty of big differences and demands, but our family loves Jack (Siberian Husky) and Ebbie (rescue with some Boxer and possibly Shepherd).

What I don’t love and pet owners and entrepreneurs throughout New Mexico won’t love are HB 64 and SB 52, bills moving through New Mexico’s 30 day legislative session that could result in increased fees (taxes) proposed on every “label” of pet food in the state,
taking it from $2 to $100 and raising over $1 million annually.

This means that rather than raising taxes on each individual bag of dog or cat food, the state would jump nearly 5000%. This cost would, of course, be passed along to those of us who, like me, own pets. It also provides the State with a dangerous new way of targeting specific products for taxation.

Worse, while big pet food companies won’t be as impacted by this tax hike, it will be the small/local pet product companies that distribute in niche stores who will face the greatest harm. These companies will face yet another obstacle each time they have a new product under development. And local pet retail stores in New Mexico will be given another disadvantage against the big chains.

Ultimately, while the money generated by this new tax hike is supposed to be allocated to improving spay and neuter programs for low-income pet owners, access to affordable services already exists. A ten-second Google search brings up a number of taxpayer-funded and private-sector options.

The state of New Mexico has a large number of animal welfare organizations that exist and raise funds for exactly this purpose, several of which have revenues of millions of dollars per year. Spay/neuter services are provided by these animal welfare organizations at a cost of $10 to $100 per animal. This means that either the state expects to provide between 10,000 and 100,000 surgeries per year for low income resident, or they are creating a slush fund to allow animal welfare organizations to dramatically raise the price at which they provide their services when the state is compensating them.

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4 Replies to “Pet food tax senseless policy”

  1. As it is now people can’t afford to pay for their pets food or vet bills… with this proposal more and more dogs cats farm animals will be going to shelters or left to starve this is bull crap!

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