Information on SB 130: An Act establishing a surcharge on adoption fees

SB 130 has been introduced in the CT state legislature by Senator Craig Miner (R), and co-sponsored by Rep. Melissa Ziobron (R). The bill would impose a surcharge, i.e. "tax" on all pet adoptions from private rescue organizations (non-profit shelters, animal adoption or rescue groups) and municipal shelters. The current bill language sets the surcharge at 5% of the total adoption fee, however, in the past the bill's sponsors stated they are open to suggestions on the amount.

All of the revenue generated from this surcharge would be deposited in a fund to support the Second Chance Animal Rehabilitation facility in Niantic. This is a crucially important and valuable space dedicated to saving and caring for large animals (horses, goats, sheep, etc) seized in cruelty cases throughout the state. In recent years, this facility has nearly been closed due to state budget problems.

If implemented, the 5% surcharge could be added to the adoption fee and passed along to the adopter - it does not need to come out of a rescue organization's bottom line. Note that pet shop dog sales are already subject to state sales tax (currently 6.35%).

CVA supports the effort to find a more stable source of funding for Second Chance and similar rehabilitation efforts. 

However, CVA cannot support SB 130 this session, because 1) we believe other alternative funding sources should be explored before we consider "taxing" the activities of many struggling non-profits, 2) the bill will likely have logistical and policy implications that need further evaluation, and 3) in the current state budget climate, we are not confident that the funds will actually be used for their intended humane purpose, but instead may be swept into the state's General Fund.

As of May 23, SB 130 is waiting to be called for a vote in the Senate. If it passes the Senate, it will then need to be voted on in the House. If you would like to speak with your State Representative or State Senator on this bill, please visit this page to find their contact information.