It’s official. I’m speechless. Completely. Utterly. Totally. Speechless. Seriously. I’ve got nothing.
And for the record, it takes a lot to put me in this state. I’m never at a loss for words. But I just can’t wrap my head around the Connecticut Cat Tax. l’m serious. Connecticut Democrats want to impose a “cat tax” on those of us who have felines and are still “lucky” enough to live here (sarcasm fully intended).
I read all about it on the Hartford Courant’s website earlier this week. At first I thought it had to be fake news. Unfortunately I checked the Connecticut General Assembly’s website, and it’s true.
What a catastrophe
At this time, raised S.B. 999 is officially known as An Act Concerning The Fee For Adopting a Dog, Cat or Other Domestic Animal From a Municipal Pound and Requiring the Licensing of Such Cats and Other Domestic Animals.
I kid you not. This is what they decided to call it. Why didn’t they just call it a cat tax? It would have been so much easier that way.
At any rate, the stated purpose of this proposed “Act” is to “increase the fee paid by anyone adopting a dog from a municipal shelter and to require the payment of such fee for anyone adopting a cat or other domestic animal from a municipal shelter and to require the licensing of such cats and other domestic animals.”
You can find the link text of the proposed bill here. In the meantime, I’ll just hit the “high points.”
As currently proposed:
- Any Connecticut resident that purchases a dog, cat or other domestic animal as a pet will have to pay a $15 fee to the municipal animal shelter or dog pound in order to get a license and tag for it from the town clerk.
- Anyone that purchases a dog, cat or other domestic animal as a pet in Connecticut will also be required to cover the cost the municipality incurred, if any, to spay or neuter and vaccinate the dog [sic], provided such charge is not more than $150.
- Any Connecticut resident that owns or keeps a dog that is at least six months old, except those kept under a kennel license as provided by law; and anyone that owns a cat or other domestic animal adopted from a municipal animal shelter or dog pound will be required to have the animal licensed in the town clerk’s office in the town where it is kept, on or before June 30th, each year after it turns six-months old.
- The annual licensing fee for each qualifying neutered or spayed animal would be $10.
- The annual licensing fee for each unaltered qualifying animal would be $15.
- In addition to the licensing fee there would be a $2 fee for issuing a license and tag as allowed by law.
- Anyone required to comply with the new law who failed to do so would be required to pay the appropriate license fee, the town clerk’s fee and a $1 penalty for each month or portion of a month that the animal remains unlicensed.
Why a cat tax simply won’t work…
The public got a chance to have its say at an Environment Committee hearing held March 11.
In a letter to the committee, Ellington resident Diana Bump voiced numerous reasons for her opposition.
“Requiring cats to be licensed will deter adoption and/or barn cat owners from taking in cats and also lead to more euthanizing of shelter cats. Licensing cats will cost more to the state implement than it will actually receive in cat licensing fees, no doubt,” Bump wrote. “Licensing cats will not incentivize spaying/ neutering either as the main reason people do not spay/neuter is because of costs and adding licensing fees will make it even more unaffordable.”
Bump also pointed out that most indoor/outdoor cats wear so-called “break away” collars, which are designed to come off if the cat gets it caught on something, so tags could be lost easily. The use of non-break away collars is unsafe, she added. Finally Bump also noted that any noise made by the tags could alert predators to a cat’s location, putting it at risk.
Hamden resident David Malicki put it even more succinctly.
“As most shelters are often overflowing with animals for adoption, I find this proposed House Bill 999 absolutely sub-human,” he wrote. “This bill should not be even considered for a motion. This bill should have never been proposed. Shame on all of you for this shortsighted proposal.”
Animal advocates also oppose the measure as proposed.
So now it’s your turn. What do you think? Is this a good idea, or not? Let’s talk about it. Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.