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A Recommended Sales and Use Tax Proposed by Governor Schwarzenegger Will Tax Veterinary Services, Says Social Compassion in Legislation
Date:11/21/2008

mals in our lives, and we can't skimp on these costs without jeopardizing the health and safety of our pets. Rather than find solutions to help pet owners during this money crunch, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has found a way to make matters worse."

Under the governor's proposal, essential veterinary services like routine exams, vaccinations and prescription medications would be lumped into the category of taxable services such as "appliance and furniture repair, vehicle repair and golf." All other medical professions were excluded from the sales tax proposal. As Dr. Barbara Hodges of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association said, "Veterinary services should not be considered nonessential or luxury services, but as truly essential family medical services."

"We would be defeating our own progress in getting people to be 'responsible' pet guardians by making it more difficult for basic veterinary care, not to mention extensive veterinary care," said Beth Caffrey, Humane Education Department, Central California SPCA. "All of our efforts in creating healthy communities that include animals would be undermined if we put animals back in the category with products like furniture. Diseases will have the upper hand again as more people provide less health care for their animals and no doubt it will be another brick wall to hit for the over flooded animal shelters. The Central California SPCA went from a 26 percent increase in owner surrenders when foreclosures started to a 34 percent increase when the economy took its turn. Adoptions have also dropped off. If we tax those that would have provided a home and health care, the animals may lose their future."

Social Compassion in Legislation and the California Veterinary Medical Association are working hard to defeat this proposal and we need everyone's support. A special session of the legislature has convened to act on the budget deficit, and
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SOURCE Social Compassion in Legislation
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