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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts Tells the Legislature: “Keep Your Paws Off of Pet Healthcare”

Media Contacts:  

Taylor Gage, 402-471-1970

Eric Maher, 402-471-1974


Media Release:

Gov. Ricketts Tells the Legislature: “Keep Your Paws Off of Pet Healthcare”


Gov. Ricketts (center) with Mike Mayers of Mars, Incorporated (right)

and Dr. Christopher Byers of VCA Midwest (left)


LINCOLN – Today, on National Tax Day, Governor Pete Ricketts joined Nebraska veterinarians and animal advocates to voice disapproval of the Legislature’s proposed tax on pet and livestock healthcare.  Currently, the Revenue Committee is considering a tax on veterinary services alongside several other sales tax increases on Nebraskans.


“Even though Nebraskans already pay sales tax to purchase, train, groom, board, exercise, and bury their pets, some State Senators are talking about taking even more money from the pockets of pet owners,” said Governor Ricketts.  “We’re here to tell the Legislature: Keep your paws off of pet healthcare!  Senators should focus on controlling spending to deliver tax relief for all Nebraskans instead of taxing one group of people to give to another.”


The Governor has consistently opposed attempts to reshuffle the taxes Nebraskans pay, and has pushed for controlling government spending, which has been the root cause of higher taxes over the years.  He has urged Senators to scrap any and all plans to hike sales taxes on Nebraskans, and asked them to focus on controlling spending to deliver real tax relief.


“Animals play an important role in people’s lives,” said board-certified veterinarian Dr. Christopher Byers of VCA Midwest.  “Pets are part of our family, and the health of livestock on Nebraska ranches is vital to our state’s economy.  It’s critical that we provide both routine and emergency veterinary care for these animals.  The proposed sales tax on veterinary services would make veterinary care more expensive and less accessible, forcing Nebraskans to make excruciating decisions about the care of their pets and livestock.”


“Veterinary care is not a luxury—it’s a necessity,” said Mike Mayers of Mars, Incorporated.  “Nebraska families should never be faced with the prospect of parting with their beloved pet because the cost of routine, preventative care is too high.  Our trusted veterinarians are healthcare professionals, subject to many of the same state laws and regulations as other healthcare providers.  The care they provide should be taxed no differently than human medical care.”


Watch video of the press conference by clicking here.