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County to consider animal tax changes

By Caitlin Rickard crickard@lebanondemocrat.com • Updated Nov 17, 2013 at 8:56 PM

The Wilson County Commission is set to meet Monday with a big item on the agenda involving a countywide domestic animal tax.

In 1980, a $2 domestic animal tax was implemented by voters and is a major source of revenue for locally based organization New Leash on Life.

The 1980 referendum passed was for the organization’s use in “animal control,” but at the time the county didn’t operate an animal control department until 2003.

The proposed resolution would be to eliminate the $2 animal tax that goes to New Leash on Life and will be considered in tandem with another resolution that would levy a $5 domestic animal fee due when pet owners obtain vaccinations for their animals.

Of that fee, 5 percent would go to the county clerk’s office for processing costs and the remainder would go to an operating fund for the county’s animal control department.

Currently, the domestic animal tax generates around $35,000 annually.

At its last meeting, the Wilson County Commission deferred vote on the resolutions in lieu of holding a public forum Nov. 5 to get more public input.

When the issue comes up again at Monday’s commission meeting, Commissioner Annette Stafford said she plans to ask the commission on the floor to amend the proposed resolutions.

Stafford said she would ask that New Leash on Life be able to keep the $2 they are already accustomed to receiving and the remaining $3 be given to Wilson County Animal Control.

“I believe if we do it this way everything will get done that we want done,” Stafford said.

Essentially, if approved at the new $5 standard, the domestic animal tax would be left as it is for New Leash on Life and the remainder of the money would be delegated to the animal control department.

“I looked at the animal control budget, and we already offer them so much I think just to add $3 they’d be able to take care of things that need taken care of,” Stafford said.

The commission will meet at 7 p.m. in the commission room at the courthouse. 

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