The New Mexico Legislature is trying to impose a tax on pet food that would burden pet owners and families throughout the state. Americans for Tax Reform adamantly opposes the bill.

Last month New Mexico Reps. Carl Trujillo (D-46) and Debbie Rodella (D-41) introduced House Bill 64, the pet food tax. In a recent article for Forbes, ATR’s Patrick Gleason explains how House Bill 64 would work if passed:

“Reps. Trujillo & Rodella’s proposal would impose a new $100 tax on top of the state’s existing commercial pet food tax (in summary, it would be a new pet food tax that is 50 times greater than the state’s existing pet food tax, just piled on top). Money from the proposed dog food tax hike would be put toward spaying and neutering dogs and cats.”

HB 64 was unanimously supported by the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee on January 30th. Last year, Trujillo proposed a similar bill that failed to gain support in the legislature as the Senate finance committee stalled the vote. Robert Likins, vice president of governmental affairs for the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, explains why the pet food tax is a misguided proposal that should be rejected by New Mexico lawmakers: ​

“Spay and neuter services are already available throughout the state from multimillion-dollar animal welfare organizations for as little as $10,” he said. “The full House should reject this unwise, expensive bill that adds fees on the backs of all pet stores and pet owners to pay for services that are already being provided.”

Laura Moore, owner of The Critters and Me pet store in Santa Fe explains how the proposed pet food tax hike, if approved, would negatively affect both consumers and employers:​

“This is either going to increase the price of dog and cat food or manufacturers are going to want to stop supplying these foods to New Mexico,” Moore said. “There has to be a better way to facilitate spay and neuter services than having bureaucrats get involved in it.”

Senator Gay Kernan (Hobbs-R) has introduced companion pet food tax hike legislation, Senate Bill 51, in her chamber. That bill is currently pending in the Senate Finance Committee. Americans for Tax Reform is urging Senate Finance Committee members to put down this misguided tax hike when it comes up for consideration. New Mexico taxpayers have been hit with 20 federal Obamacare tax increases over the last eight years. The last thing they need is to have lawmakers in Santa Fe pile on with further tax hikes at the state level.