Tax on Shelters and Rescues
Full Missouri Legislature Should Take Action to Undo Damage of Unfair Taxes
(March 28, 2012) -The Humane Society of the United States expresses its
thanks to Missouri State Rep. Noel Torpey, R-52, and seven co-sponsors for
introducing House Bill 1934, which would repeal a new state tax forced on
local animal shelters and rescue groups.
This legislation, which follows a bill introduced earlier this year by Rep.
Jeanne Kirkton, D-91, shows bipartisan support among key leaders in the
General Assembly to respect the will of the voters and repeal this unfair
and punitive shelter tax. The HSUS began pressing for repeal of this tax as
soon as it came to light after last year's effort to undo portions of the
voter-approved ballot measure setting standards for the care of dogs in
large-scale puppy mills. H.B. 1934 has a hearing in the House Ways and Means
Committee on Thursday, March 29, and The HSUS urges the committee and the
full legislature to swiftly pass the bill.
"We applaud the introduction of this bill and are optimistic that it will
pass quickly," said Anne Sterling, Midwest regional director for The Humane
Society of the United States. "The repeal of this unfair and punitive tax
will greatly enhance the ability of local animal shelters and rescue groups
in Missouri to provide for the welfare and safety of abused and abandoned
animals throughout the state."
H.B. 1934 will phase out the "puppy tax" over two years, and give the
Missouri Department of Agriculture the authority to grant hardship waivers
to non-profit organizations that have difficulty paying the tax before it is
This legislation represents a strong signal from leaders of the General
Assembly that state lawmakers recognize the importance of respecting the
will of the voters and passing common-sense animal welfare measures
supported by the citizens of Missouri.
The legislation will help the state crack down on puppy mills that
masquerade as phony animal rescue groups. The Department of Agriculture has
already made great strides to crack down on these operators, but this
legislation will give the Department the ability to promptly deal with this
The HSUS, along with Stray Rescue of St. Louis, Mo., and Dogwood Animal
Shelter in Osage Beach, also filed a constitutional challenge in Cole County
in 2011 to overturn the removal of the tax exemption.
Media Contact: Jordan Crump, 301-548-7793,
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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal
protection organization - backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every
28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the
protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs.
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