Guess What Arnold Wants to Tax Next

Think it's expensive now to take your pet to the vet? Just wait

The next place you might to have to tighten your budget belt is the vet.

You can thank Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for that.  He is pushing for a pet tax as a way to raise revenues.

But pet owners are fighting back with plenty of bite.

Veterinarians say they're already seeing a decline in pet visits due of the slumping economy, and worry an added tax will only make things worse.

Veterinary ophthalmologist Dr. Kristina Burling says she is among the concerned.  She says most people don't consider animals a luxury, and instead part of the family.

Pet owner Donald Weideman said he absolutely considers his pet Buster part of the family.

"Its definitely going to make us cut back on maybe bringing the animals in as often. And having different procedures done and different animal checkups," Weideman said.

Schwarzenegger said two weeks ago, "I think that everyone here has gotten a wake up call that this is not just where we can debate something. We are running out of money."

Broadening the sales tax would generate millions of dollars, but capitol republicans are fighting it.

"The pet tax is a perfect example of what not to do," Roger Niello (R) Sacramento said.

Republicans say the state can generate billions of new dollars by selling offshore oil drilling rights, but that idea has little support at the capitol. So for now, the focus is on the pet tax.

Veterinarians say the tax would add about 9-percent to the cost of vet care.

It would need a two-thirds vote of the legislature to go on the governor's desk and that is unlikely to happen before the special session closes Nov. 30.

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