A California lawmaker wants to encourage people to adopt pets from animal shelters by giving them a tax deduction.
Republican Assemblyman Marc Steinorth wants to allow people to deduct up to $100 on their income taxes to help cover the cost of adopting a shelter pet.
Ryan Hinderman with the City of Sacramento’s Front Street Animal Shelter says a deduction would motivate people, just like when the shelter reduces its adoption fees.
“It just creates excitement and people are like, ‘I’ve been wanting to adopt a dog or a cat, this seems like a great time to do it,’” Hinderman says. “It definitely does encourage people to take that step and save a life.”
But Samantha Corbin with the pro-labor California Tax Reform Association says the deduction would only affect middle- and upper-income people, and they don’t need one.
“You’re not going to see people rushing out to adopt shelter dogs who otherwise would not have,” Corbin says. “Particularly, perhaps folks who could not afford to go through the process, they’re not going to be helped at all by this bill.”
She says it would be more effective to offer subsidies to people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford a pet.
Adoption fees vary widely throughout California.
On the higher end, the Los Angeles SPCA’s adoption fees are around $150 for dogs and around $120 for cats.
Assembly Bill 292 has already passed a committee and now heads to another.