Nebraska Legislature considering tax on veterinary services

dvm360dvm360 June 2019
Volume 50
Issue 6

Governor holds press conference at VCA hospital in Omaha objecting to proposed bill.

Gov. Pete Ricketts (center) with Dr. Christopher Byers of VCA Midwest (left) and Mike Mayers of Mars Inc. Photo courtesy of Gov. Ricketts' office.

On Monday, National Tax Day, Gov. Pete Ricketts joined Nebraska veterinarians and animal advocates to voice disapproval of the Nebraska Legislature's proposed tax on pet healthcare, according to a release from Ricketts' office. Currently, the Revenue Committee is considering a tax on veterinary services alongside several other sales tax increases for the state.

“Even though Nebraskans already pay sales tax to purchase, train, groom, board, exercise and bury their pets, some state senators are talking about taking even more money from the pockets of pet owners,” Ricketts said during a press conference at VCA Midwest in Omaha. “We're here to tell the Legislature: Keep your paws off of pet healthcare! Senators should focus on controlling spending to deliver tax relief for all Nebraskans instead of taxing one group of people to give to another.”

 “Animals play an important role in people's lives,” said Christopher Byers, DVM, DACVECC, DACVIM, of VCA Midwest. “Pets are part of our family, and the health of livestock on Nebraska ranches is vital to our state's economy. It's critical that we provide both routine and emergency veterinary care for these animals. The proposed sales tax on veterinary services would make veterinary care more expensive and less accessible, forcing Nebraskans to make excruciating decisions about the care of their pets and livestock.”

A hearing on the revenue bill that includes the tax-L.B. 289-is scheduled for April 24.

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