Another addition to the arsenal of animal-friendly legislation in California this year comes from Assembly member Cameron Smyth (R-Santa Clarita) in the form of a personal income tax deduction proposal known as AB 233. With rampant foreclosures and an unemployment rate reaching double digits, it couldn’t have come at a better time for people or pets.
Co-sponsored by the ASPCA and The Humane Society of the United States, this piece of legislation would institute a new law which would encourage pet adoptions through government shelters and non-profit organizations by allowing state taxpayers to deduct up to $300.00 in adoption fees annually.
AB 233 offers relief to California taxpayers on multiple levels. In addition to the obvious personal tax incentive, the bill would help chip away at the $250 million spent annually to shelter the estimated 800,000 dogs and cats abandoned each year to government-operated shelters. Encouraging families and individuals to adopt these homeless pets eases the burden on overcrowded shelters. To be eligible for deduction, adoption fees must be incurred at a "qualified animal rescue organization" such as any city, state, or county shelter or animal control agency, as well as 501(c)(3) animal adoption organizations.
As of 3/04/09, this bill has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Revenue & Taxation. AB 233 will go before the Committee on April 20 at 1:30 PM at the State Capitol. Your help is vital to keep this piece of legislation moving forward towards becoming law.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Make a call and send an email to your elected Assembly Member to urge him/her to support AB 233. To find your legislators, click here.
As of 3/04/09, this bill has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Revenue & Taxation. Contact each member of the Committee on Revenue & Taxation to voice your support for AB 233.
Veterinarians, animal welfare organizations and individual taxpayers should fax letters of support on your organizational/corporate letterhead to Assemblymember Smyth’s attention at (916) 319-2138. Please be sure to include your mailing address so your support can be shared with your representatives.
Posted by Carrie Jones, Best Friends Volunteer
**Best Friends Animal Society has not taken a position of support or opposition to this piece of legislation. For more information on how animal legislation is reported on the Best Friends Network, click here.