Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tax collector looking for pet breeders

The Bakersfield Californian recently ran a story about the California Board of Equalization's new push to collect taxes from people selling animals. According to the State of California, if someone makes more than two sales transactions during a 12-month period, they are considered a seller and need a permit and to pay sales tax to the state on the transactions.

I doubt many people in Kern County knew this law existed before the story ran. Now that they are aware, nearly all breeders asked find the law unfair.

Frankly, breeders cannot have it both ways. On the one hand, any time an ordinance is proposed breeders talk about their right to do as they wish with their pets, as pets are considered property in the eyes of the law. Now that they are being asked to pay sales tax on the "property" they sell, they are also crying foul. This is the part I don't get --- if I sell a car for $1,500, it's a given that the sales tax on that car has to be paid. Why shouldn't the same apply to the sale of a $1,500 puppy?

I've heard a local animal advocacy group may use the knowledge of the law as an impetus to track local ads for puppies and kittens and present the list to the BOE for tax collection purposes. If it succeeds in bringing more backyard breeders into the light of day, so people can see how many poorly bred, overpriced pups are changing hands in Kern County, I'm all for it.

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