In the future, residents in California may get a break when it comes to vet bills.
Last month, Assemblyman Devon Mathis of Sacramento introduced a bill that would allow residents of the state to write off half the money they spend on vet bills, up to $2,000.
The bill would only be for health care, including vaccinations, surgeries, X-rays, check-ups and medicine. The tax credit would come out of the general fund for the state, with the hope that pet owners would offset that loss by putting their money back into the economy — buying groceries, gas or even pet products.
The Republican decided to introduce the bill after he had to choose between pursuing an expensive treatment or euthanizing his pet. He knows he isn’t the only one.
“We know people that loved their pets, but simply could not afford the cost of treatment,” Mathis tells This Dog’s Life. “It was heart breaking to see them make the decision to euthanize their pet who is truly a family member.”
To Mathis, “It seemed to me that if pet owners could deduct some of the costs then maybe they could afford to keep these furry family members in the family.”
Currently, owners, spend on average $235 a year to take their dog to the vet and $551 for surgical visits, according to American Pet Products Association.
While insurance can offset the cost, it hasn’t caught on yet as a mainstream option. However, that is changing. From now until 2020, the annual growth rate for revenue in the the pet insurance industry is 6.8 percent, which will increase annual sales to $1 billion, according to IBISWorld.
There has yet to be a date for the bill to be heard by the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee, meaning pet owners still have time to support (or oppose) the bill. People can fax a letter to 916-319-2198 or write to a note to 1020 N Street, Room 167A, Sacramento, California 95814.