There is a proposal to create a new $1 million tax on pet food in Maryland. This would be on top of the $20 million Maryland pet owners paid in the sales tax on pet food last year. The goal is to fund a state spay/neuter program. We support the program and think there are fairer ways to raise money than a new tax on responsible pet owners. Funding should be through voluntary sources such as public donations and income tax check-offs.
- The Honorable Pamela Beidle
- The Honorable Cathleen Vitale
- The Honorable Michael Weir Jr.
- The Honorable C. T. Wilson
- The Honorable Joanne Benson
- The Honorable Bill Ferguson
- The Honorable J.B. Jennings
- The Honorable Karen S. Montgomery
- The Honorable Paul G. Pinsky
- The Honorable Edward R. Reilly
- The Honorable James C. Rosapepe
- The Honorable Bryan W. Simonaire
- The Honorable Ronald N. Young
- Chair, House Environmental Matters Committee
The Honorable Maggie McIntosh
- Vice Chair, House Environmental Matters Committee
The Honorable James Malone
- Chair, Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs
The Honorable Joan Carter
- The Honorable Dana Stein
- The Honorable A. Shane Robinson
- The Honorable Charles Otto
- The Honorable Elizabeth Bobo
- The Honorable Rudolph Cane
- The Honorable Alfred Carr
- The Honorable Barbara Frush
- The Honorable James Gilchrist
- The Honorable Cheryl Glenn
- The Honorable Anne Healey
- The Honorable Patrick Hogan
- The Honorable Marvin Holmes
- The Honorable Jay Jacobs
- The Honorable Stephen Lafferty
- The Honorable Herb McMillan
- The Honorable Doyle Niemann
- The Honorable H. Wayne Norman Jr.
- The Honorable Anthony O’Donnell
- Vice Chair, Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee
The Honorable Roy P. Dyson
I am a Maryland resident, a pet owner, and I am very concerned about the proposed $1 million pet food tax (H.B. 767 and S.B. 820). I am writing to urge you to vote to amend these bills to replace the tax with a voluntary source of funding and to oppose the bills if the tax is not eliminated.
I support the goal of creating a spay/neuter program in Maryland, but it’s not fair to tax responsible pet owners by taxing the food they buy for their pet. The vast majority of pets in homes already have been spayed or neutered. The $1 million pet food tax would be unfair and bad public policy.
Maryland does not charge sales tax on most food purchases, yet Maryland does tax me when I buy food for my pet. Last year I, along with other Maryland pet owners, paid more than $20 million in sales tax on pet food. Perhaps a portion of this money I already paid could be used to fund a spay/neuter program.
Alternatively, we Marylanders could voluntarily contribute money for a spay/neuter program through an income tax check-off and through general voluntary donations. Other charitable funds administered by the State of Maryland raise money through voluntary means – the Maryland Cancer Fund, Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund, and Developmental Disabilities Administration Waiting List Equity Fund. None of these existing statewide funds raise money through taxes.
Why can’t we raise money for a spay/neuter program the same way other Maryland charitable funds raise money, through voluntary donations? I should be given a choice.
I strongly urge you to vote to amend H.B. 767 and S.B. 820, and to oppose these bills so long as they contains a tax on pet food.
Thank you for your attention to my concerns.
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