Interesting story on NPR (read and listen here) about Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed plan to levy a 9% tax on veterinary care as part of an overall plan to close California’s $41 billion budget gap. The proposal has raised concern that it will price veterinary care out of the reach of many Californians. As a result, many animals will face abandonment or euthanization. H.D. Palmer, of California’s Department of Finance noted that veterinary care is not being singled out; the state also plans to tax auto and appliance repair, golf fees, sporting events and amusement parks such as Disneyland and Knots Berry Farm.
There is no denying that California’s budget crisis is real and that the state faces some hard choices. Nonetheless, I look forward to the day when medical care for sentient, feeling creatures is not a line item comparable to greens fees or trips to Disneyland.