The State Duma (lower house of the Russian Parliament) started discussing a tax on pets. Observers believe that it may undermine the government’s credibility even worse more than the recent pension reform, Novye Izvestia newspaper reports.
According to the bill, all pets will have to be registered and carry an implanted chip. The tax may be extended to all animals, including mice and hamsters. It will not affect aquarium fish and farming animals such as goats and cows. Tax rates have not been revealed; however, the approximate highest rate, on a large dog, may be as high as RUR 15K ($223). The tax on a cat may be three times lower, around RUR 5K ($74).
Small dogs will cost even cheaper, RUR 1,2K ($18). A hamster will cost RUR 120 ($1.8) per year. Implanting a chip will cost RUR 2K ($30).
Internet users commented that Russians already spend money on maintaining their pets. They also build shelters and provide a temporary home for stray animals. The new tax will cause serious negativity in the society. Animal lovers include many citizens of pre-retirement age who were already affected by the retirement age increase.