SANTA FE — Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed legislation Thursday that would have imposed a pet food tax in New Mexico.
“I strongly encourage New Mexicans to spay and neuter their pets – however this misguided legislation is nothing more than a tax increase that would not solve the problem,” Martinez said. “I gave my word to New Mexicans that I would not raise taxes, and I intend to keep that promise throughout my entire term.”
House Bill 64, sponsored by Representatives Carl Trujillo (D-Santa Fe), Debbie Rodella (D-Espanola) and Joanne Ferrary (D-Las Cruces), would have imposed a $100 tax per label for pet food manufacturers doing business in New Mexico.
Local governments are better positioned than the state to promote the spaying and neutering of pets. Many local governments in New Mexico already charge fines and fees for owners that do not spay or neuter their pets – such as Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, and others.
These policies charge the pet owners who fail to spay or neuter their animals, instead of the general public. For example, Albuquerque charges $6 a year for a dog or cat license, but $150 for these animals if they are not spayed or neutered.