Californians: Proposed Vet Tax Info
This isn't getting many views in "Health" so I'm going to post in "Welcome" as well. Please make the 30-second call -- it could save us all a lot of money in new vet taxes!
In case you haven't heard about this, there's a proposal from the Gov's office to tax our vet services -- 9%! The facts are on the Cal Vet Medical Assn website http://www.cvma.net/ (think of all the people who won't take their pets to the vet since can hardly afford it now before the 9% increase).
They now have an easy way to voice your opinion -- here is the news alert that went out from the CVMA. Please take the time to make the quick call (I just did and the phone tree is exactly as described).
January 16, 2009
"VETERINARY SERVICES TAX"
The Governor is listening! We need you to take action again and register your "opposition"... It's simple and effective.
Call the Governor's office at 916-445-2841.
Select your language choice.
Press "5" to leave your opinion on a current issue.
Press "1" to select the issue of extending the sales tax to veterinary services.
Press "2" to "oppose" the Veterinary Services Tax proposal.
January 15, 2009 Budget Update:
Yesterday, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger presented his 2009-2010 "State of the State" address to the California State Legislature. This speech came on the heels of the release, on December 31, 2008, of his 2009-10 State Budget proposal which continued to include a proposal to tax veterinary services.
The Governor has expressed great frustration that, despite the fact that he has called several sequential "special sessions" of the legislature, a compromise has not been reached by Democrats and Republicans. In the last two weeks, there appears to be some movement with the negotiations. However, due to the sensitive nature of the discussions, and in an attemp t to prevent outside forces from impacting the discussions, the "Big 5" (Senate & Assembly leaders) has been relatively silent with regard to the specifics of the issues currently on the table.
With little information leaking out of these confidential "Big 5" meetings regarding the Governor's tax proposals, we must assume that the veterinary tax remains "on the table" for discussion. Therefore, we are requesting that CVMA members continue to express their opposition to the Governor's proposal to tax veterinary services by calling the Governor and your local legislator today.
Updates will continue to be posted at www.cvma.net. If you have any questions, call the CVMA office at 1.800.655.2862.
Yes, this is very important. I also sent the link to my Vet who has sent it to his database so take a minute make the call, send it to all your friends, and your vet.
Please ! Everyone ! Call !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Blah Blah Blah
I sent an email to the governor, and I got this canned response:
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me about my proposal to expand the sales and use taxes to include veterinarian services. I appreciate your input during these challenging times.
Shortly after adopting the 2008-09 budget, economic conditions began deteriorating rapidly, and California faced a massive revenue shortfall that would only grow unless corrective action was taken. After months of negotiating with Republicans and Democrats, we still have not reached an agreement on a solution, and estimates now show our budget deficit reaching a staggering $42 billion during the next 18 months if nothing is done. Now is the time to turn the page on months of failed negotiations and move forward with the balanced budget my administration proposed on December 31.
To close the budget shortfall, I have proposed to reduce spending by $17.4 billion. I have made tough choices I wish I did not have to make, and I know this is a terrible time to cut programs people depend on. But in an emergency like this, we have to take quick action to avoid even worse problems - even if they include making decisions we don't like. To generate new revenue, I am proposing to apply the sales and use tax rate to veterinarian services at 6.5 percent. We selected industries that already have infrastructure in place to implement this tax in a timely fashion. I know this is a terrible time to expand sales taxes, but we have to take quick action to deal with this fiscal emergency.
I continue to urge Californians to call their legislators, send them e-mails and postcards and tell them to not waste any more time. It is time for Republicans and Democrats to put politics aside and make the tough choices needed to keep our state from a financial disaster that will take years to recover from.
This is the link Marilyn sent me. At the end, you can follow the links to email the Governor like I did. In my email, I said something like "You must not have pets."
ITS RAINING TAXES ON CATS AND DOGS
Assemblyman Curt Hagman, District 60
January 30, 2009
With the support of California pet owners and veterinarian offices last November, my Republican colleagues and I successfully shot down Governor Schwarzeneggers proposal to create a new tax on veterinarian services. But the Governor is at it again, and your dogs and cats are no safer than alcohol, iTunes, or plastic bags - Sacramento politicians want to tax it all.
The Governor released his latest budget proposal earlier this month which includes $14 billion in General Fund tax increases through fiscal year 2009-10. This proposal recommends broadening the California Sales and Use Tax beginning March 1, 2009 by taxing so called luxury services such as appliance, furniture, and vehicle repairs, and it even extends to veterinarian services.
Spaying and neutering, regular checkups, and any other medical procedure would be subject to a 9-10% tax if the Legislature approves this proposal. Pet medications and drugs would be given immunity by the tax and spenders this time around.
While I understand the necessity of making tough sacrifices in order to find solutions to our massive budget deficit, it is downright unimaginable to consider pets as luxury items. In my family, and families all across the state, pets are considered best friends or members of the family. It is unacceptable that the Governors tax proposal treats our friendly felines and canines as his personal political pawns.
The California Veterinary Medical Association estimates that animal shelters in California already take in about 800,000 animals per year, costing taxpayers an estimated $275 million annually. The Governors pet tax is only expected to generate about $357 million over the next two years.
With the economy slumping even further into recession and thousands of people losing their jobs and homes, increases in veterinarian costs will undoubtedly force many pet owners to give away their furry friends. Animal shelters that are busting at the seams will either be forced to turn away potential pet donors or euthanize an unprecedented number of animals.
The bottom line is that the negative effects of this tax are astounding. Pet owners will lose a furry member of their family due to increased costs. Pets wont get the medical attention they need and they will face an even greater risk of being euthanized. Veterinarians and their small businesses will lose substantial revenue because pet owners will be less likely to pay the increased costs. And to top it all off, the State will have to pick up the unmanageable tab for the increased shelter costs.
Californians are already on the edge. We have some of the highest taxes in the nation and are struggling to keep businesses from moving to other states. The Governor and the Democrats need to join Republicans and pass real budget reforms that cut wasteful spending.
There is no more time for more smoke and mirrors ? lets fix our spending problems now and not pass more taxes that just make Californians suffer. Be assured that I will be actively working in the upcoming negotiations to keep our pets and our wallets out of harms way.
Take Action and let the Governor know you do not support this tax! http://gov.ca.gov/interact
Please share your thoughts on this article with Assemblyman Hagman at http://republican.assembly.ca.gov/member/60/?p=email
Spay & Neuter Contest
If any one wants to vote for Tinka, and donate a buck or two ( it goes to a spay and neuter clinic - tax deductable), we would really love you for it! And if not, just look at the cute picture anyway...
Come on people, it's been a little slow in the message column lately and I just had to give it a shot..:)
Tinka and Suzy
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