Local News

Durham County now collecting pet tax

Posted January 2, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— Residents in Durham County must now list their pets as personal property so the county can collect a tax owners were already supposed to be paying.

The tax – $10 if a pet has been spayed or neutered, $75 if it is unaltered – only applies to county residents who own cats and dogs four months and older.

durham county pet tax Pet tax now in effect in Durham County

Kimberly Simpson, Durham County's tax administrator, says that what is now a tax has been a fee collected by the county's Department of Animal Control. It became a tax this year so the tax office could collect it.

"I would say that they were collecting about 50 percent of what they were billing," Simpson said. "It is our goal to collect 100 percent."

Although Animal Control was sending out bills totaling nearly $1 million, Simpson said there is no way of knowing exactly how much money the county will generate by enforcing the tax rather than the fee.

Previously, there was no way knowing who had a dog or cat if it wasn't registered or had not been to a veterinarian for vaccinations.

Residents have until Feb. 2 to list their individual and business property for tax purposes.

Meanwhile, real estate taxes have to be in by Jan. 5, which is the last day before interest accrues on tax payments that were officially due Sept. 1.


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  • Mitch Jan 2, 2009

    I'm so glad I do not live in Durham, or play lacrosse

  • Methuselah Jan 2, 2009

    Next up: Durham County charges residents a global warming tax for the carbon dioxide they exhale. The athletic residents will be charged more due to the increased output from exercising....

  • PeterG Jan 2, 2009

    Well I mind paying Durham county for my cat. He's an indoor cat and has zero impact on the county of Durham. Get out of my pocket already!

  • TheAdmiral Jan 2, 2009

    I think that the county of Durham should have a revolt.

    I think like the Boston Tea party, they should get 75-80 truckloads of puppy Pooh and have it dumped on the front steps of the County building and City Hall.

  • Deep Thought Jan 2, 2009

    I guess the thought is that "unfixed" animals are more likely to breed and increase the unwanted pet population. Irresponsible owners aren't going to pay either way. And, who is going to go around and see if pets are listed on tax forms, the doggie police? My dogs are inside dogs and have a fenced back yard so almost no one sees them but neighbors and the vet. Gee, now we've got to wonder if the vet is going to turn into Big Doggie Brother.

    We don't mind paying for our pets but just wish the people in charge (City, County, Animal Control, etc) could get things straight.

  • thewayitis Jan 2, 2009

    We got our statement today, too, and we're sure glad we don't have pets. I can't believe you have to pay more for an unaltered pet than for a neutered one. Who's business is it if a pet is neutered or not? The city is making all pet owners pay for the actions of the irresponsible ones. I guess we'll get a guinea pig. Those aren't taxed yet, are they?

  • Deep Thought Jan 2, 2009

    We got our bills in the mail today and we are now being charged the price for dogs that have not been neutered or spayed. Our male was neutered in 2001 and we have never been charged the un-neutered price. Our female was spayed in 2001, also. Why all of a sudden have they lost the spay and neuter certificates?????

    I know what is going to happen. We'll have to go to the vet's office and get new spay/neuter certificates and mail them to prove what they've known for 7 years. They will lose those so we'll have to make copies so we can TAKE them to the right dept. I anticipate the $75.00 per dog will not immediately changed to $10.00 per dog so we'll be fighting that for months to come. All because someone keyed info in wrong or quality control doesn't exist.

    In Durham you can buy better government but you can't pay more.