Step back from veterinary tax

Published 12:58 pm Thursday, April 11, 2013

I would like to thank Gov. Mark Dayton for rethinking and modifying his budget recommendations to the Legislature. While disappointed in his original set of proposals, we understand his intent to put some new ideas on the table for the public and the Legislature to consider. Ultimately he listened and responded to the feedback of the public that resulted in reworking his budget proposal with some alternative ideas and budget recommendations.

Included in his original set of ideas presented to the Legislature would have been a new tax of nearly 6 percent veterinarians would have to pass on to pet owners. However, Gov. Dayton found that this and other sales tax proposals lacked support and he removed these proposed taxes from his budget recommendations.

Still, the Legislature is charged with crafting and passing a budget for the state covering the next two years, which likely will include some new tax proposals. It is my hope that our state senators and representatives will join Gov. Dayton’s decision to not seek to add taxes on professional services like veterinary care.

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A tax on veterinary services would result in increased costs for many consumers and pet owners who are already making tough choices in the midst of a fragile economic recovery and may have to make difficult decisions about the important health and welfare of their animals.

Understandably so, measures must be taken to help balance the budget. I simply ask that veterinarians and pet owners not bear an unfair burden, the professional services tax that would increase the cost of pet care. As our senators and representatives deliberate on legislation to balance the budget, we urge them to join Gov. Dayton and others in not supporting the tax on veterinary services.


Steven Elwood
doctor of veterinary medicine

Albert Lea