An article in today’s San Francico Chronicle discusses Arnold Schwarzenegger’s plans to mend the massive hole in California’s budget. Among his answers: charge sales tax for veterinary visits.
Schwarzenegger also wants to broaden the sales tax to include appliance and furniture repair, vehicle repair, golf and veterinary services beginning March 1. His tax package, which would generate nearly $4.7 billion this year, also includes a severance tax on oil produced in California and an excise tax on alcohol. [emphasis mine]
Sorry Arnold, but I can’t support you. In this economy I know veterinarians who are cutting back hours and trimming staff to keep their practices from going under. Vets are strapped. And I meet plenty of people every day who can no longer afford the best possible care for their pets. People with pets are strapped.
Traditionally, services have not been subject to sales tax. I find it interesting that Governor Schwarzenegger chose to tax veterinary services and auto repair, but not human medical services or attorney’s fees. Taxing the latter two industries would draw in much more revenue for the state. It also would draw a lot more fire from armies of vicious, well-organized attorneys. I assume that is why Arnold has decided to pick on mechanics and vets (and their clients).
In this endeavor, Arnold, I wish you the worst of luck. And I’d like to suggest an alternative means of raising revenue. Start taxing people who watch or rent action movies featuring muscle-bound men.
On a different note, Horst recently asked readers for feedback on how the economy is affecting their choice of pet food. His question: are people choosing cheaper pet foods in these tough times?
That excellent question made me wonder: are readers cutting back on veterinary services, flea preventatives, heartworm preventatives, and annual wellness exams because money is now so tight? I’d love to hear what you have to say.