Horse Licensing and Taxes – What Is Next?

Livestock Transport News Article - More News2009-01-26
A proposed New Hampshire state income tax is under consideration that targets horse owners. A special “equine tax” socks owners with a tax of $25 per horse per year, with a $50 fine in addition to it for anyone who is slow to get on board or outright refuses.

This is not related to health and safety or people and but could be a bonus to the National Animal Identification System that many small farmers and animal owners oppose. It does require each animal to have a number, making it mandatory for horse owners to sign up with just one amendment. The cost of the microchip from some estimates can be $75 or more per horse.

This is an outright tax to license horses as has been done to dogs and cats. Many years ago a small group opposing the animal rights misinformation said that when horses become “companion animals” in the eyes of definition rather than “livestock” it was opening a door that animal owners did not want opened.

This is simply politicians looking at ways to tax more. Rabbits, cattle and other animals can also be taxed if officials find a “reason.”

There’s already talk of the EPA having a per head tax on cattle and hogs for methane production. There are no reports on including sheep, goats and other livestock but all can belch and according to experts that adds to global warming. American Farm Bureau officials report anyone with over 25 head of cattle would pay $175 per animal or beef cattle with more than 50 head at $87.50 per head.

Other people say that isn’t a possibility but it wasn’t that many years ago that horses were unquestionably livestock. For many they still are. That doesn’t stop the state of New Hampshire from forced licensing consideration.

With the state of New York adding increased taxes on many things it would be an idea for them to tax horses also. New York has more horses and with many of those Thoroughbreds there’s the perception that their owners have money. For every Funny Cide there’s a thousand Seek The Stars. (Who was she? My point exactly! Just a Thoroughbred horse.) 

It’s also worth noting that Wisconsin requires sales tax on the purchase of horses unless they are actively used in farming. Wisconsin residents pay 5% state tax and sometimes another ½% to the county on boarding, training, horse sales and equipment.

Kentucky has a 6% sales tax on stud fees and did have the same tax for horses claimed at Kentucky racetracks as well as sold at auction that are under two years old. California taxes horses purchased at the Barrett’s sale that remain in the state. An exemption is made if the horses are leaving California with a licensed shipper.

According to a report in March of 2005, Litchfield county Connecticut pleasure horses over $1,000 in value were to be listed on personal property assets for taxation. Last year New Jersey implemented 7% state taxes on boarding and training. It was noted farms won’t be audited for a few years but anyone not in compliance then will be assessed penalties and back taxes.

Animal owners of all types sometimes may not be aware what the powers that be are doing, but for those in the target view that can be an expensive oversight.

Although it is true the New Hampshire legislation is, at this point, *proposed* rather than enacted, if it takes effect it can pave the way for some other states to do the same. If this is connected with NAIS the “voluntary” program then becomes mandatory.

Be aware and active – seldom are these measures a temporary means of raising funds.

Bookmark and Share