New Mexico Pet Food Tax Bill Advances
BY LINDSEY WOJCIK
ANew Mexico bill that aims to increase pet food dis- tribution fees in an effort to help control the state’s dog and cat population passed in the House Consumers and Public Affairs Committee on Jan. 30.
The bill’s advancement has raised alarms for pet spe-
cialty retailers and industry pundits who say, if passed,
the legislation will further erode already-thin margins
and create more hurdles for independent specialty re-
tailers already struggling to compete with big-box and
House Bill 64 would impose a $100 fee (added to the
current $2 fee) on each pet food label that is distributed in
New Mexico every year.
If passed, the fee would help animal shelters in the
state with the costs associated with spaying and neutering
dogs and cats in New Mexico.
In a fiscal impact report,
the bill’s sponsors—Carl Trujillo (D), Debbie A. Rodella (D)
and Joanne J. Ferrary (D)—
cited a 2012 Animal Sheltering
Board (ASB) feasibility study
on a statewide spay and neuter program, which found
ASB lacked adequate funding
and staff to address animal
shelter overpopulation issues
in New Mexico.
The study also found that
in 2011, animal shelters and
other euthanasia agencies
took in 118,000 cats and dogs,
and 55,000 of them were eu-thanized, primarily because
there were too many dogs and
cats and not enough homes.
This issue cost the state $27
million annually—the total
budget for shelters and euthanasia agencies.
However, opponents of
the bill said the proposed fee
would inflict a 5,000 percent
tax increase on dog and cat
food, which will “
undoubtedly be passed onto retailers
and consumers,” said Robert
Likins, vice president of government affairs for the Pet
Industry Joint Advisory
“Smaller retailers would
be more adversely affect-
ed than larger ones, as they
need to carry smaller, unique
brands to differentiate them-
selves,” Likins said. “Larger
retailers would be more af-
fected than online sellers, as
this is one additional over-
head cost that only brick-and-
mortar businesses would be
Mike Bachicha, president
of Bone-a-fide Dog!, an inde-
pendent pet specialty store in
Albuquerque, N.M., said his
biggest qualm with the bill is
the huge percentage increase
the tax would impose.
“It’s another hurdle that a
brick-and-mortar business has
to overcome versus big-box
and online,” Bachicha said.
Food comprises about 70
percent of Bone-a-fide Dog!’s
FROM 16 COMPANIES IN 1958 TO OVER 1,200 STRONG TODAY,
THE AMERICAN PET PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION (APPA) IS PROUD
TO HAVE SERVED OUR MEMBERS FOR THE PAST 60 YEARS.
APPA looks forward to continuing to fulfill our mission: To promote
responsible pet care, advance the pet products industry and to
provide the programs and services to help our members
prosper for the next 60 years and beyond.
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