Decrease The Oregon Department of Agriculture Fee's For Animal Rescue Entities!

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My fellow Oregonians and Animal Rescue Entities (ARE's),

On June 1st, 2020, my ARE received an email from the Oregon Department of Agriculture stating that, per Senate Bill 883 which was passed in 2019, ARE's would no longer be managed at the County level, but instead, managed at the State level.

Now, most of the requirements and standards are the same, however, the fee for this license that needs to be renewed annually is $584.00. I live and and run my ARE out of Washington County, OR where the cost for an annual ARE license was only $110.00.

As an ARE that takes in a lot of medical cases, this new fee (given with exactly 1 month notice) is a devastating blow to our bank account. I firmly believe that this fee is unfair and I know I was not contacted about this bill passing and no one I know was contacted either. Why did the state not reach out to the ARE's that would be impacted the most? I can only speak for myself and no one else, but, I already donate every hour I'm not working at my regular job to the rescue and put tens of thousands of rescue miles on my vehicle. If my rescue cannot come up with the funds by 6/30/2020, I have to pull out my checkbook and cut $584.00 out to the State of Oregon (In the middle of a PANDEMIC no less).

No matter if you're an ARE like mine that files a 990N because we have (a lot) less than $50,000 in gross receipts per year or you're an ARE that takes in $1,000,000 a year, we all have to pay the same fee to be compliant with our states laws and regulations or risk being shut down. That only hurts the animals at the end of the day.

What I propose instead are fee's on a tiered scale based off of the previous years tax forms. I understand that this new department still needs funds to operate and I think all rescues are fine with paying a reasonable fee. For example, ARE's with under $25,000 in gross receipts pay $50, $25,001-$50,000 pay $100 and so-on and so-on or provide a some sort of fee break for ARE's that took in less than a certain amount. 

Something needs to be done. I was heartbroken and shocked when I received this email. Why are our good deeds being, seemingly, punished? If you agree that this flat fee across the board is unreasonable and this bill should be revised, please sign my petition! Thank you thank you thank you so much for all of your support.