Rhode Island Legislators Seek to Repeal Seven Percent Tax on Pet Care Services

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Lisa A. Shenkle
VERB! Communications
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Cathy Calliotte
Vice President Marketing & Communications
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Rhode Island Legislators Seek to Repeal Seven Percent Tax on Pet Care Services

Washington, D.C./Providence, RI – It has been two years since the Rhode Island State Legislature decided to levy a seven percent tax on specific, but various, types of services, which went into effect on October 1, 2013. Those services, which are now expected to charge, collect and remit sales tax, include pet care services such as dog grooming, pet sitting, boarding and dog walking.

“This new tax adds an administrative burden on small business owners and it drives customers across the border into Massachusetts where they can enjoy the same services for seven percent less,” says Ken Oh, president and CEO of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC).

RI Senate Bills 2080 and 2083 seek to repeal the repeal the pet services sales tax, ending this unwarranted tax on the state’s dog owners. An additional bill, RI House Bill, HB 7186 moves to repeal the seven percent sales tax from “pet grooming” specifically. PIJAC supports all three bills, but hopes legislators will move to eliminate the entire burden on all pet care services.

“Unfortunately, pet grooming, boarding, sitting and walking are easy targets for politicians looking for ways to increase their diminishing budgets. Taxing dog owners who only want to take care of their pets is totally unjustified,” says Ken Oh. “Attorneys and accountants aren’t subject to a service tax – why are pet services?”

It is anticipated that the total annual amount raised from this seven percent tax on pet services will hardly make a dent in the overall $8.1 billion state budget.