With no solution to Calif. budget crisis, veterinary tax remains on the table

Dec 23, 2008
By dvm360.com staff
Sacramento, Calif. -- Little headway has been made over the past weeks to ease deficit concerns in California, and a 10 percent veterinary service tax remains an option for legislators to close a multi-billion budget shortfall.

The California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) has been organizing grassroots efforts to head off the tax, but state legislators could decide the issue as early as mid January.

On Dec. 18 Democrats proposed an $18 billion stimulus package with budget cuts and tax increases that did not include the veterinary tax, first proposed last month by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In response, Schwarzenegger vowed to reject the Democrat's plan and called another special session to find a solution to the state's $42 billion fiscal crisis.

In the interim, Schwarzenegger and Democratic leaders appointed a 12-person bipartisan committee to begin work in the New Year to "restructure and modernize" California's tax system. The group aims to have a plan to the Legislature by April 15, and CVMA indicates the veterinary tax could still surface, even if isn't enacted during the short-term budget talks in January.

For more in-depth coverage, see the January issue of DVM Newsmagazine.