A majority of MPs back abolishing the tax on dogs, following a petition signed by 60,000 dog owners.
MPs will be discussing the matter in parliament on Thursday in a debate opened by dog owner Gary Yanover who initiated a so-called ‘burgerinitiatief’ (citizens intitiative) to put the matter on the political agenda. A burgerinitiatief needs at least 40,000 signatories to force a parliamentary debate.
‘This tax is unfair. One local council does not tax dog ownership and the next charges €125,’ Yanover told RTL Nieuws. He also said that dog owners have a legal obligation to clear up after their dogs and claimed local councils are using the tax as an excuse to increase their budget.
A number of parties including the VVD, PVV, PvdA. Forum, the Haga group, BBB and BIJ1 are willing to abolish the tax, RTL found, but CDA wants local councils to be allowed to continue to impose the tax at their discretion.
Dog tax is one of the oldest taxes in the Netherlands and was established in the Middle Ages to stop the spread of rabies by strays. A little over half of all 352 local councils still levied the tax in 2020, CBS figures show.
SP MP Renske Leijten said having a pet is of great value to people. ‘You shouldn’t have to pay a tax on that. After all we don’t tax cat or goldfish owners.’
It is unclear when the tax will be abolished.
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