Do we need a doggy tax break?

Bill proposed in Congress would let pet owners deduct animal care expenses.

By Kim Peterson Oct 19, 2009 2:12PM
Kim's catAnimal care can be outrageously expensive. I've probably spent enough money on my cat's ailing kidneys to buy a small car.

Should the government be helping out? One Republican congressman thinks so, and has introduced a bill that allows pet owners to deduct the cost of animal care from their taxes.


The bill would let you deduct as much as $3,500 a year, according to NPR.


Rep. Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan said he's heard economic hard times are causing some people to give up their pets.


"When you think about the relationship between people and pets and the humane way that it helps people think, it seemed to me to be a good idea," McCotter said in a video about the bill, according to NPR.


Some pet owners are thrilled at the idea. But it seems to me that if you choose to have a pet, you should be able to pay for it.


Julie DelCour, a columnist at the Tulsa World, summed up the issue nicely: "We have an $11 trillion national debt; and 46 million people without health insurance," she writes. "With those realities, Congress can ill afford to pass out tax deductions like Milk Bones. This novelty bill will die in committee and McCotter's 15 minutes of pandering to us animal owners will end." 
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