Proposed sales tax expansion could take bite out of pet owners' wallets
Posted June 17, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — Pet owners could soon be paying more for veterinary bills and grooming services.
The Senate gave initial approval Wednesday to a budget package that calls for collecting sales tax on a variety of previously untaxed services and cutting personal and corporate income taxes.
"It seems unfair for a lot of working folks," said Bob Rodriguez, who owns seven cats.
"It doesn't seem like much to some, but it can be the difference between getting that rabies vaccine and not getting that rabies vaccine," said Dr. Chessie Green, a vet at Falls Village Veterinary Hospital in north Raleigh.
Green balked at the notion that animal health care is different from health care for humans.
"Why does veterinary medicine get taxed where no other health care profession in the state gets taxed?" she asked.
Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, said the proposal is intended to level the playing field by taxing services such as a visit to the vet or the auto mechanic or a visit from a contractor instead of just pulling money from people's paychecks.
"What is does do is gives more people more opportunities," Rucho said. "They have money their pocket to have a choice on buying goods and services rather than an income tax, which basically says, 'I'm taking this much money from you, and you have no option.'"