SPCA Support Through Taxation

Year
2011
Category
Finance
NCLGA Ref#
B9
UBCM Ref#
N/A

Status

Defeated by the NCLGA Membership

Details

WHEREAS animal control and cruelty complaints are handled by the branches of the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) throughout BC;

AND WHEREAS the SPCA is in constant need of financial support as it receives no Provincial Government funding and is only able to operate due to the sustained efforts of volunteers and support through independent donations:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NCLGA and UBCM request that Provincial legislation be implemented to levy an additional tax of up to one half of one percent on all pet food sales in British Columbia to help cover the operational costs of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Additional Information

UBCM Comments:

Due to time constraints a similar resolution, 2009-B180, was not considered at the 2009 UBCM Convention but was referred automatically to the UBCM Executive. Upon consideration, the UBCM Executive did not endorse resolution 2009-B180. The resolution called on the provincial government to enact legislation to implement a levy of an additional tax on all pet food sales to help cover the operational costs of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals provincial funding needs.

At the time, UBCM noted that the resolution raised issues around the use of sales tax levies, pointing out that the use of sales tax levies on a specific product was limited (i.e. a levy on gasoline) and the funding directed to agencies that are accountable to the public. UBCM raised the question of whether or not this type of funding should be expanded to private agencies to fund the programs they provide and whether these additional taxes on products would be acceptable to the public.

UBCM acknowledged the work of the SPCA in responding to animal control and cruelty complaints in both urban centres and less densely populated areas; however, UBCM noted that many private agencies around the province provide a wide range of valuable programs and services.

Background Information

Over the years, there have been growing reports of complaints and reports about abused, neglected or abandoned animals throughout the province of BC. Currently, the BC SPCA has been operating on a limited budget, dealing with staff shortages and increases in calls for services.

According to the BC SPCA, through 36 branches across BC, the Society provides a wide range of services for more than 40,000 homeless, abused, injured and abandoned animals around the province.

The control of domestic animals in rural communities is an ongoing concern and there is a crucial need for the services provided by the BC SPCA although inadequate funding makes it difficult for the society to operate. The taxation of pet food would allow for the “user pay” philosophy in the same manner as other services in less populated areas and provide the Society with necessary funding.