Thursday, October 15, 2009

Does Fido Deserve a Tax Break?


There is a bill making rounds on Capitol Hill that would provide a tax break for up to $3,500 for pet expenses. Does Fido really deserve a tax deduction? Do we really need to subsidize pet ownership in this country?

The recession has been extra hard on pets as people have abandoned pets at shelters they are no longer able to properly care for them. Pet can be very expensive between food, visits to the vet and increased rent. Those of you who think dog food is expensive should try to feed a horse sometime!

While pet lovers may point to all the positive aspects a man's best friend can bring to a family; if there are tax benefits people may start to get a pet just for the tax benefits. This brings up a lot of interest scenarios. I wonder if the benefit will be per pet or per pound? Would you get the same benefit for a pet mouse as you would for a pet horse? If someone adopts 76 cats do they get to pick up $266,000 in tax breaks? And what happens when you feed the pet mice to the pet snake?

If the bill were to pass it would certainly be good for companies in the Pet Care Industry like PetSmart (NASDAQ: PETM), Petmeds Express (NASDAQ: PETS), and Tractor Supply (NASDAQ: TSCO).

Some Congressman may have written this bill just to please some a pet loving constituent knowing it is unlikely to pass. I thought there were some real issues like a recession, unemployment and $1.4 trillion deficit that lawmakers could keep busy with.

While everyone loves Fido and Fluffy, should they really get a tax break?

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