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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Thursday, March 14, 2013

Proposed Legislation Would Make Pet Meds Tax Free

California pet and animal owners would pay less for medicines purchased from a local veterinarian if a new legislative measure sponsored by the California State Board of Equalization becomes law.


“Making pet medicine tax-free will benefit California pet owners and veterinarians. It also benefits Californians by keeping more dollars in our state and promoting animal health,” said George Runner, who voted to support the proposal earlier this week.

According to the Californian Veterinary Medical Association, there are 19 million companion animal pets in California. Approximately 33% of households own at least one dog and approximately 28% own at least one cat.

Many Californians currently buy medicine for their pets online under the assumption that such purchases are tax free—not knowing they owe “use tax,” the equivalent of sales tax.

The proposed legislation would eliminate sales tax on drugs and medicines sold or used for the treatment of animals by veterinarians, animal shelters and certain nonprofits. Licensed veterinarians are currently considered consumers and must pay tax on any drugs or medicines they purchase for use or resale.

“The Board’s unanimous vote to sponsor this bill shows it is a good idea with broad bipartisan support,” added Runner. “I look forward to seeing this effort gain momentum in the Legislature.”

The proposal, which will be amended into Senate Bill 688, must be approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor before becoming law.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, about half of all states currently exempt animal prescription drugs and medications from taxation.

Elected in November 2010, George Runner represents more than nine million Californians as a member of the State Board of Equalization. For more information, visit www.boe.ca.gov/Runner.

Regina Carter

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