Animal control director says expanded sales tax could impact animals

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - The director of a Central Kentucky animal care and control says expanded taxes could impact the animals at their facility.

With an already difficult job of keeping animals off the streets, the director of Jessamine County's Animal Care and Control says Kentucky's legislature hasn't done them any favors.

"So far we haven’t met much resistance (from customers) but it’s been a nightmare to set up," said director Frank Ruggiero.

The expansion of the state's sales tax now includes animal adoptions, but he says not every local shelter he talked to was aware of that.

"It was like on June 29. They said 'Our fiscal court don’t know anything about it. We haven’t done anything,'" he said.

Ruggiero said he hopes an exception can be made for organizations like his.

"Nine dollars is not a lot of money but when you go to Craigslist or look on Craigslist free to a good home, the puppy mills and the backyard breeders, they aren't subject to charging sales tax. It’s going to hurt us in the long run."

Republican lawmakers used the expansion of the state's sales tax to offset cuts to personal and business income taxes. They've said they could pass a law next year to exempt non-profits.

Ruggiero hopes that happens, because the extra cost could have a direct impact on the animals they see.

"When we explain to the owner what the fees are a lot of times we get told 'Well, I’ll just leave the animal there rather than having to pay.' Now we have to charge an additional 6% sales tax on those fees. It’s going to make it even harder for us to get all of these dogs back to their owners. Some owners are just not going to pay it," Ruggiero said.

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