Italians reject dog and cat tax

A day doesn’t seem to go by without hearing about the economic turmoil overseas. As countries try to get their fiscal houses in order, they’re inevitably looking at ways to boost revenue through taxation.

A proposed tax on dogs and cats in Italy went down in flames.

One proposed tax increase in Italy, however, met with such an uproar, it was withdrawn the same day it was announced – specifically, a tax on cats and dogs.

Announced May 18, the proposal would have placed a tax on dogs and cats, or “animals of affection;” animal-rights groups claimed the measure would force cash-strapped owners to abandon their pets.

“Grotesque,” “idiotic,” and “surreal” were some of the words politicians used to describe the measure, and one Italian news agency, in less than four hours, ran more than 40 stories on the proposal.

“The only thing that’s left to tax are wives and children,” Italian parliamentarian Domenico Scilipoti said.

In true politician CYA fashion, no one claimed credit for the proposed legislation.

The current income tax rate for an individual in Italy is 23 to 43 percent, depending on how much is earned.