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"Cat Tax" bill in General Assembly

A bill to “tax” cats is making the rounds of the General Assembly and some pet owners are not happy about it.

The bill proposed would make people register their pet cats at a cost of $15 per year per cat.

 Those for the bill say it can remind owners to spay or neuter their animals. Most veterinarians already do that as a courtesy for their customers.

 Some lawmakers want to know more about resident's cats and register that information away at local town and city officials. One reason they state is that it could make it easier to reunite any lost pets.

A similar bill in 2017 failed to advance in the  General Assembly.

 The licensing fee would be required for each cat in a home.

 If residents do not register their cats, the town clerk could charge the owner a fee on top of the $15 yearly registration fee and a dollar for each month that the resident doesn’t register their animal(s)

 Dog owners are already required by law to register their dogs.

 "They're in public a lot more, you know more interactions with dogs and dog parks, things like that. Cats are more either indoor or if you have them outdoors, they keep to themselves," said Alex Lucci,  of Pet Supplies Plus. 

"A lot of people really love their cats, they want to make sure their cats have everything they need. All the vet bills and shots, and everything taken care of," Lucci said. 

 The bill is supported by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities because the measure would provide additional funds for municipal animal shelters, but opponents say the bill is too broad and fees will reduce adoption rates and increase the number of animals that shelters are forced to euthanize.

 

State Republicans decried the proposal as a “cat tax,” but municipalities have been saying they need more revenue in light of potential state funding cuts and teacher pension cost-sharing measures proposed by Gov. Ned Lamont.

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