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Colorado Democrat Introduces ‘Pet Tax’ for All Animals

by Chelsea Betonie

A bill known as HB24-1163 has been introduced by the state legislature, which proposes the implementation of a ‘pet tax’ on all non-livestock animals in the state.

Regina English, a Democrat, is sponsoring this bill that mandates pet owners to register their animals through a state-operated system. However, many opponents argue that the associated fees are excessively high and deemed unnecessary.

The proposed Pet Animal Registration System, as outlined in the ‘Pet Animal Registration Act’, requires pet owners to register their pets annually. However, the fee structure associated with this registration seems to disproportionately burden those who may not have the financial means to pay.

Under this system, pets with a designated caregiver would incur a fee of $8.50, while unneutered or unspayed pets with a caregiver would face a higher fee of $16.

Pets without a caregiver would be subject to an even more substantial fee of $25. This could place significant financial strain on households with multiple pets, as well as breeders and sellers who are responsible for numerous animals over six months old.

It is important to note that these fees apply not only to common household pets such as dogs and cats but also extend to a wide range of animals including reptiles, amphibians, fish, and even invertebrates.

No pet owner would be exempt from these charges. To illustrate the potential financial burden imposed by this system, let’s consider an example: A family with 100 aquarium fish could end up paying up to $2,500 annually if they do not have designated caregivers for each individual fish.

Furthermore, a diverse assortment of 20 pets consisting of a dog, cat, hamster, several reptiles and fish could result in annual taxes ranging from $170 to $500.

Even something as simple as keeping an ant farm for a child could introduce significant financial strain due to this legislation.

The Department of Agriculture is responsible for establishing and maintaining an online pet animal registration system.

Non-compliance can lead to steep penalties including fines up to $100 per unregistered animal. In extreme cases where someone unknowingly fails to register their aquarium fish, they could potentially face fines totaling up to $10,000.

While the bill claims its purpose is to ensure that pets are connected with their owners or caregivers during emergencies – an admirable goal – the method chosen, namely a tax, has been met with skepticism.

Many pet owners are questioning the true motives behind this registration system and view it as an intrusive intrusion into their private lives.

The additional financial burden may discourage potential pet owners from adopting animals in need, potentially placing greater strain on animal shelters.

Opponents of the bill are preparing for a battle as the hearing is scheduled for February 22 at the State Capitol.

They argue that this legislation is merely a thinly veiled attempt to generate revenue rather than a genuine effort to improve animal welfare.

By implementing this ‘pet tax’, Colorado is establishing a dangerous precedent where animal companionship becomes a luxury only available to those willing to pay for government surveillance of their pets.

Read the bill summary:

The bill requires the commissioner of the department of agriculture (commissioner) to develop, implement, and maintain an online pet animal registration system (system).

The bill establishes the pet animal registration enterprise (enterprise) in the department of agriculture to provide business services to pet animal owners who pay pet registration fees to the enterprise by developing, implementing, maintaining, and administering the pet animal registration system, connecting pet animals with their owners and designated caregivers when and after emergencies occur, and protecting pet animals by supporting animal shelters that are caretakers of last resort.

A pet animal owner must register the pet animal in the system annually for a fee set by the enterprise, which must be no more than $8.50 annually per pet animal with a designated caregiver, $16 annually per pet animal that is a dog or cat that is not neutered or spayed and has a designated caregiver, and $25 annually per pet animal without a designated caregiver. The fee set by the enterprise is in addition to any pet registration or licensing fee assessed by any other jurisdiction. The enterprise will collect both state and local fees and transmit any fee levied by another jurisdiction to that jurisdiction and the fee levied by the state to the newly created pet animal registration cash fund. The state’s fee will be used to develop, implement, maintain, and administer the system and reimburse animal shelters for the cost of taking custody of a pet animal for which a caregiver cannot be located or has refused to take custody.

The bill also requires a pet animal owner to designate a caregiver for the owner’s pet animal. The caregiver is responsible for the care and safekeeping of the pet animal during an emergency that incapacitates the pet animal owner. First responders will use the system to identify the designated caregiver of the pet animal and notify the caregiver of the incapacitation of the pet animal’s owner. A caregiver must agree to be responsible for the pet animal. If a caregiver later refuses to take custody of the pet animal or cannot be located, a first responder will place the pet animal in an animal shelter. Only first responders and the department of public health and environment are allowed to use the system.

The bill specifies that to own a pet animal without registering the pet animal; to refuse or fail to comply with the provisions of the bill; to make a material misstatement in a registration application, a registration renewal application, or to the department of agriculture; or to refuse or fail to comply with any rules or regulations adopted by the commissioner is unlawful. An unlawful act is punishable by a civil penalty in an amount set by the commissioner but not to exceed $100 per unlawful act. If the commissioner is unable to collect the civil penalty, the commissioner may sue to recover the civil penalty or refuse to renew a registration.

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Chipper February 5, 2024 - 5:56 am

Wokeism at its finest!

Don N February 5, 2024 - 11:42 am

This is what happens when a Republican suggests to a Democrat that there should be a tax exemption for pets because of the cost in caring for them. Something else to tax is what the Dem heard.

Russell Moody February 5, 2024 - 6:21 am

What are those Democrats going to Tax next !! That is cheap and it shows just how America is broke and what next ??

Rosalee February 8, 2024 - 2:41 pm

It seems that the state of Colorado is handing out money, the taxpayers money, to the illegals and the “potheads” that are living in the downtown area and the streets. catering to the “LAZY” because they don’t want to be “heartless”. really, so they are HEARTLESS to the people and the real TAXPAYERS of Colorado. The people need to GET A BACKBONE and stand for the truth. Colorado use to be a great place to live, but not now.. The state government has or is taking the rights of people away….

Rick O'Shay February 5, 2024 - 6:58 am

If it passes hopefully people will just flip the middle finger at this absolutely ridiculous law. Defy, do not comply. That goes for every idiotic law passed by all states and especially the federal govt

Crotte February 5, 2024 - 7:32 am

This should get all pet lovers to vote the DEI/DNC way!!!! 🙂 🙂

Sue February 5, 2024 - 9:47 am

These people are nuts!

Mari February 5, 2024 - 10:01 am


Stan Fronczak February 5, 2024 - 10:45 am

Democrats have never met a tax they didn’t like.

Glen February 5, 2024 - 10:58 am

If Colorado needs money so bad and considering how much Democrats love taxes I have a perfect solution. I think that rather than having a tax on animals they should impose a 10 cent tax on every word that Democrats speak. This should allow the State to eliminate all other taxes because Democrats can’t stop running their mouths. Colorado will be rolling in money.

Lynn Couck February 5, 2024 - 11:05 am

To the people of CO. You already know this is just a money grad, so they can spend more of your tax dollars on usless programs or to line thier pockets. Any legislator in CO that votes for this needs to be removed from office or you’ll end up like CA

Rosalee February 8, 2024 - 2:43 pm

They are in the running to be second… There goes their freedoms……

janet myers February 5, 2024 - 11:39 am

This is beyond stupid. The Dems are just greedy money hungry people. They don’t care about Americans at all. Stop the greed , stop the spending, get the budgut balanced and stay within the limits. Stop it right now.

Ada Brittingham February 5, 2024 - 11:43 am

Their greed is unbelievable

Don N February 5, 2024 - 11:56 am

“The Department of Agriculture is responsible for establishing and maintaining an online pet animal registration system.” implies they have nothing better to do. Was that department consulted before the bill was made? Liberals like to make work for others so they can spend more of our taxes. .

Maureen February 5, 2024 - 6:23 pm

They have had this law for dogs in nystate for years! now $16,00 for neutered dog.female or male and $22.00 for unneutered dog. must have rabies certificate to show every yr with renewal… And to top it off, you have to register your dog at 4 mos of age….

Bob February 6, 2024 - 6:13 pm

Let’s have a similar law on democrats. They must be neutered or the tax is doubled.they can’t go outside without a leash and muzzle on. Next they’ll want to tax us for the air we breath

StanB February 6, 2024 - 6:51 pm

The old saying “you can’t fix stupid”, and you sure shouldn’t vote it in to office.

Rap Scallion February 6, 2024 - 7:14 pm

Sounds like they are running out of your tax money and by establishment of this “new” source., they can hang on a little longer! IF it does pass and go through, who takes car of those pets people can’t or will not afford?????? Govt pet sitters……..Licensed and paid by the state with tax money, don’t we do that with the Fed Wild Horse program????????

Americafirst February 6, 2024 - 8:04 pm

It’s time for military tribunals.

Richard Long February 6, 2024 - 9:05 pm

just say no, don’t comply, mass non compliance, fight back

Alan February 7, 2024 - 2:06 am

Thanks to Biden’s economy, people are turning their pets over to already crowded shelters. A better idea is to give people a tax deduction for pets and for keeping them!.

Stace February 7, 2024 - 12:34 pm

Stupid is as Stupid does… so ridiculous! Leave the pets alone! As beautiful as Colorado is mountain and streams it sounds like a another shit hole in the making!! Hopefully it doesn’t become another NYc OR CA.


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