STATE NEWS: California Bill Proposes a Tax Credit to Shelter Pet Adopters

A newly proposed bill in California would give those who adopt a pet from an animal shelter a much-deserved tax credit.
Kerry Lengyel
Published: May 04, 2017
For the thousands of animals in shelters waiting to be adopted, forever homes could come sooner than expected.

A newly proposed bill in California would incentivize residents to adopt shelter animals by offering those who do a slight tax deduction.
 
Rep. Assemblyman Marc Steinorth (R-Rancho Cucamonga) introduced the bill, which would allow up to a $100 deduction for qualified pets, which include cats and any other pet over four years old.
 
He and several animal rescue groups believe this will spark an interest in residents who may not have decided otherwise to adopt their pet from a shelter.

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“It just creates excitement and people are like, ‘I’ve been wanting to adopt a dog or a cat, this seems like a great time to do it,’” said Ray Hinderman from the Front Street Animal Shelter in Sacramento. “It definitely does encourage people to take that step and save a life.”  
 
The new bill was introduced due to the large number of animals — specifically older dogs and cats — that are in need of forever homes. When older shelter animals are not adopted after a certain amount of time, they are sometimes euthanized. If the bill is passed, shelters may see an increase in adoptions.
 
But some believe that offering subsidies to those who would not otherwise be able to adopt a pet is a better solution to the problem. “You’re not going to see people rushing out to adopt shelter dogs who otherwise would not have,” said Samantha Corbin from the pro-labor California Tax Reform Association. “Particularly, perhaps folks who could not afford to go through the process, they’re not going to be helped at all by this bill.”
 
The California bill passed the revenue and tax committee and has moved on to the appropriations committee.

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