Tax for the Love of Dogs

What makes a good citizen? There could be a lot of interpretations on how someone can be defined as a good citizen and in my definition, paying taxes is one way of being such. Growing up, I never really realized how important it is to pay taxes. What I remember from childhood was that the Katipunan tore their Cedulas and was against paying their taxes in the cry of Pugad Lawin.

To truly understand why we need to pay taxes I began my search and found my answer not from the Bureau of Internal Revenue or any local website but from the website of the Internal Revenue Service United States Department of Treasury (IRS). According to their website:
“Taxes provide revenue for federal, local, and state governments to fund essential services–defense, highways, police, a justice system–that benefit all citizens, who could not provide such services very effectively for themselves. Taxes also fund programs and services that benefit only certain citizens, such as health, welfare, and social services; job training; schools; and parks.”
I recently got into an vehicular accident and broke my leg. It took months before I could walk again but the doctors, nurses and everyone from the Philippine Orthopedic Center did their share in helping me find my feet again. Who funded my operation and the hundreds of orthopedic patients? It was the government. Where did the goverment get the funding? From our taxes of course. So there, I pay taxes, I get services from the government.

What’s the clamor in the recent report that went viral on the internet about taxes on our dogs? I have shared my thoughts in paying taxes, but why all of a sudden does my dog, or any other dog in Pasay need to pay taxes? Aside from dogs, bicycles are also included in the provision.

It states that “domesticated dog found in your household” must pay P20. Let us say you have five (5) dogs, then that’s one hundred pesos (Php100). A small amount compared to the cost of a regular vaccine shot or a kilo of commercial dog food. If you think about it though, how many dogs are there in the city of Pasay? Another question, how often does this tax need to be paid? Is it a onetime deal? Yearly maybe? The provision is not clear.
In a statement given to Inquirer Pasay City Mayor Antonino “Tony” G. Calixto said:

“Considering that it was passed some 13 years ago, there is a need to determine if it is still necessary under present circumstances,”

For the love of the dogs and my country I will pay such additional tax. I personally consider my dog a citizen of the Philippines and as a dog citizen we’ll pay our dues.

If such a 13 years old tax provision be implemented, I guess most dog lovers will comply and will be more than happy to pay their doggie tax if we see more facilities for our dogs in the city. A dog park would be nice, a dog friendly city is ideal, a No Kill dog pound is a dream come true and a dog rescue squad would be awesome.
Until then, clear guidelines should be made and results should be assured. For now, I think it would be really hard to shell out a single centavo even for a citizen who believes in paying taxes like me.
What are your thoughts on this issue? Please leave a short comment.

http://www.irs.gov/app/understandingTaxes/teacher/whys_thm01_les01.jsp
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/216201/pasay-folk-raise-howl-over-dog-bike-tax
Photo from : http://everythinginbudget.blogspot.com/2012/06/viral-pasay-bikers-and-dog-owners-to.html

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