Georgia will not add a sales tax to veterinary services. House Bills 385-388, introduced earlier in the year, included language that would have taxed “veterinarian expenses for pets.” Medications and supplies are already taxed, but veterinary services are not.
State legislators made the revision in late March.
The Georgia Veterinary Medical Association, which had urged veterinarians and pet owners to contact their legislators and ask them to oppose such legislation, called the decision a victory opponents of the tax.
“This was a great victory for the GVMA and the veterinary profession, and for Georgia pets and their owners,” said Kevin Chapman, DVM, president of GVMA. “Georgia’s pet lovers should congratulate themselves for their courage and determination in fighting this legislation. GVMA didn’t do it alone. We had a lot of help from all those individuals and organizations like ours that love pets, and together we got it done.”
GVMA had maintained that adding sales tax to veterinary services could have forced owners to forego life-saving procedures and opt for economic euthanasia; could have had a substantial financial impact on responsible veterinary care of pets; and could have led to an increase in pet abandonment.
Ed Mahaffey, DVM, co-chair of the GVMA Legislative Action Committee, urged restraint and vigilance.
“We won this round, but some risk will persist until the legislative session ends,” Dr. Mahaffey said. “There will be other fights. We have been fortunate that Georgia has been largely sheltered from legislation that negatively impacts veterinarians, but if bills in other states are any indication, this is only the beginning.”