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CVMA CALL TO ACTION
Dear CVMA Colleagues,
If ever there were an important time to participate in organized veterinary medicine activity, this is it. Your assistance right now could not be more necessary or more important to your businesses, clients and patients. Please contact your state legislators, the legislative leaders and the governor's office to express the harm to animal welfare that will occur, should a sales tax on veterinary services be instituted. Contact information is just below, as is a list of bullet points for you ruse and if necessary a form letter to cut and paste. Of course a personal email or note and a phone call are the best way to register your objections with state leaders. Time is of the essence so please act today!
Step 1: Use this link: http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp to identify and contact your own state legislators.
You will need to enter your town, then your street and finally your house or practice street number, to get to the contact information.
Step 2: Additionally, please contact the Governor's office with the same message.
Governor's office contact information: 860-566-4840 and http://www.governor.ct.gov/malloy/cwp/view.asp?a=3998&q=479088
Step 3: Finally, please contact the legislative leadership offices with the same message. It is essential to express your views to them as well.
Legislative leadership contact information:
Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey, Hamden, 860-240-8500, J.Brendan.Sharkey@cga.ct.gov
House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz, Berlin and Southington, 860-240-8489, Joe.Aresimowicz@cga.ct.gov
Rep. Jeffrey Berger, House Chair, Finance Committee, Waterbury, 860-240-8500, Jeffrey.Berger@cga.ct.gov
Senate President Martin Looney, New Haven, Hamden and North Haven,860-240-8614, Looney@senatedems.ct.gov
Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, Norwalk and Darien, 860-240-0414, Duff@senatedems.ct.gov
Senator John Fonfara, Senate Chair, Finance Committee, Hartford and Wethersfield, 860-240-0043, Fonfara@senatedems.ct.gov
Make your calls and then either write your own message (preferred, bullet points below) or modify and/or use the sample message/script (also below). Please act right away. We urge you to both call and email your legislators, the governor's office and the leadership offices. We also suggest you do so in both the town where you live, and the town where you work, if they are different. Finally we encourage you to engage your staff, your families, your colleagues and your clients to do likewise. Emphasize the expected adverse animal welfare consequences, especially to families of modest means, to your being forced to charge more for your services through imposition of a sales tax.
This issue is critical to us, to our clients and to the animal patients we cherish. Thank you.
Bullet points for individually written letter or personal telephone call:
1. Veterinary services are paid for with discretionary income which people have less of in this challenging economy.
2. Imposing sales tax will cause working families to use less veterinary services.
3. Animals owned by working families of modest means will receive less care.
4. Finally, because animal health is linked to human health in complex ways (Rabies immunization, parasite control)
increasing costs will lead to increased public health risks.
Form letter for email or USPS delivered letter:
Dear State Representative/State Senator__________________,
The Finance Committee's proposal to impose a sales tax on veterinary services is unwise, and will ultimately harm the pocketbooks of working families
and the health of the animals of our state.
Our primary concern is the welfare of our animal patients. As we all know, the provision of veterinary care relies on pet owner's discretionary income. Especially in these very trying economic times, any increase in the cost of veterinary care due to imposition of a sales tax, will inevitably lead to less veterinary care being sought by financially challenged animal owners, and as a result less than optimal veterinary care for many of our patients. There is also a public health concern: Basic public health services such as Rabies immunizations and routine parasite screenings intended to protect public health, will be reduced due to increased overall cost.
As it stands today, just three other states collect sales tax on veterinary services. In contrast, 47 states have recognized the deleterious affect on animal welfare that a veterinary services sales tax would lead to. We urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to find another way to balance our state budget, and get Connecticut moving again. Let's not do it at the cost of animal health and animal owner's pocketbooks. Thank you.
Dr. _______ _____________