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Tax break for adopting shelter animals?

April 15, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A California lawmaker wants to give people a tax break for adopting shelter animals.Assemblyman Cameron Smyth (R), Santa Clarita, has proposed a bill that would let Californians write off up to $100 of the cost of adoption.

Smyth points out that with foreclosure rates high, many families are forced to give up their pets when they leave their homes; consequently, local animal shelters are increasingly burdened. He says encouraging adoptions with tax breaks makes financial sense.

"The cost of housing these animals at shelters hits local government to about a quarter of a billion dollars a year," says Smyth. "The tax deduction, which comes out to about a million dollars in net loss to the state, is pretty small, and we think the balance of the benefits to local governments by getting these animals out of shelters and into homes would outweigh that."

Some critics question just how many people will be encouraged to adopt by the proposed tax break. A $100 write-off would save a taxpayer, depending on income, between $1 and $10.30.


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