Blaftaks is still there for a while, Minister talks with municipalities

About the entire House of Representatives no longer finds the dog tax of this time, but is not going to abolish it directly from The Hague. That would make too big a gap in the financial management of municipalities, different parties and Minister Ollongren of the Interior say.

Today, a citizens‘ initiative was on the agenda in the Chamber to remove the tax levied by about half of the municipalities. Some 60,000 people signed for it, so MPs had to look at the subject.

Most MPs agree with the initiators that dog tax is a strange tax. The yields are not usually used to clean up dog poop, for example, but are used to fill the local treasury. Owners of other pets do not have to pay taxes and rates vary very much by municipality.

Change Municipal Law

In order to abolish the dog tax, the Municipal Law needs to be amended. It stipulated that municipalities may levy this type of tax. The Van Haga Group has submitted a proposal, but there does not seem to be a majority.

Parties such as D66, CDA and PvdA stressed that dog tax is an important source of income for municipalities. It will raise around 50 million euros annually. โ€œYou can’t just take that off,โ€ said D66 MP Faster. He pointed out that many municipalities are short of money because they have had many tasks in recent years.

CDA‘er Peters also does not want to offer false hope for dog owners, and PvdA MP Kathmann believes that the municipalities should decide for themselves whether to levy or abolish taxes. โ€œThis topic has been producing dynamic debates for years, which citizens are very much involved.โ€

Transition

The VVD also wants to get rid of dog tax, but with a transitional period of five years, for example. MP De Kort wants the Minister to talk to municipalities to investigate how the contested tax can disappear.

Minister Ollongren is prepared to do so, but believes that the municipalities should not be in financial trouble by abolishing the dog tax. That’s why she advocates a broader discussion about the taxes that municipalities may charge, but she believes that is up to the new cabinet.