Dog tax has not had its day – parish constables

DOG TAX still has a place in society, parish constables believe, as they said the money paid by owners was put towards providing facilities around the island.

dogtax
Andrew Younger with his Wheaten terrier, Cookies, on the left and his Tibetan terrier, Noodles, on the right. He was not sure how dog tax was spent and saw it as some kind of stealth tax (Pictures by Juliet Pouteaux, 17444716

The annual £10 per dog charge, which is administered by the parishes, was due to be paid by the end of January.

But with the States vet David Chamberlain previously stating he believed 50% of owners were not paying the tax, questions have been raised about whether it is still appropriate.

Castel constable Bob Falla said while different parishes varied in their approaches, Castel used its income from the tax to provide dog waste bins and to pay a contractor to collect the waste.

‘The money is used around the parish to provide a service,’ he said. ‘It doesn’t go into general revenue. If you look at it from all sides, can you expect parishioners without a dog to pay for the bins?’

He said whenever the parish had representations from owners or parishioners about a lack of bins or an increase in dog mess, it would look at putting a new bin in that place.

Mr Falla said Castel used to follow up with owners if they had not paid their tax. However, in some cases the pet had died and it had been a distressing phone call. Now it sends out a coloured tag with each licence it issues.

Comments for: "Dog tax has not had its day – parish constables"

Don Tramp

Dog tax maybe next a Cat or Budgie tax ?

Kittycat

Personally I think you should have to pay a tax to have any sort of pet, and microchipping and neutering should be mandatory. Far too many selfish, irresponsible pet owners on this island in my opinion.

Devil's Advocate

Agreed for pets that go outside (cats&dogs).

Beanjar

Have my pond fish been bothering you, Kittycat?

arjay

In at least one parish I know, the Dog Tax receipts subsequently pay for a Christmas lunch for members of the Douzaine.

Major Denis Bloodnok

Must be a huge feast if the number of dogs in the island is anything to go by or perhaps hardly any dog owners bother. It seems like an expensive and pointless farce to buy our two plastic discs each year

Just sayin'

How much do the bins in each parish cost per annum to maintain and empty? How much dog tax does each parish generate? I would be interested to see the figures.

YoY

They are collected and payed for by PSD or whatever they are calling themselves this week, along with the coastal litter bins. States Works have the contract for them.

Common sense

As a dog owner I pay the tax and would not mind if the amount was increased to £20 if the money was ring fenced to provide facilities to provide more and cover the cost of bins provided for dog waste.

Each parish should publish what the money has been spent on, after all it is a tax (legally required to be paid) and there should be accountability and it would provide an opportunity for parish residents to complain if they feel it is being wasted or inappropriately used.

Major Denis Bloodnok

All very true. Being law abiding doesn't seem to pay though - there are virtually no bins and everyone else seems to throw their delightful little bags into the branches of trees. Maybe it's a gang thing marking their territory like trainers thrown over telephone wires. Dread to think what the gang's name is though

Runs with Scissors

£10 per dog is far too low. Should be at least £100 or more per animal.

Such a levy would perhaps discourage the sort of owners who give the rest of us a bad name, by leaving their dog eggs uncollected and also letting them run amok unsupervised and out of control.

Far too many people find themselves getting a dog or puppy without any real clue of the time and attention the animal needs. Only recently a saw a post on social media appealing for information on where to source a Pug. No doubt because they are a bit trendy and cute. The potential new owner had not the faintest idea of the issues associated with the breed or even the first clue about how to look after a dog. Shocking!

YG1234

Would be great if some people remembered to pick up the dog mess.

St Peter Port is the worst Parish for selfish people.

The Grange, Victoria Road always some numptie who cant pick it up.

I love dogs but time to fine some people who just cause misery.

DB6

I have never noticed it in St Peter Port until today - I was hopping around to miss the dog mess. And I have also seen many dog owners in town letting their dog go on to the "green area" at the back of the courts to have a cr*p and just left it there !!!

PLP

Are there any figures that show (a) how much dog tax is worth to the island every year and (b) how much it costs to administer it? That would be the first place I would look when looking if it was worthwhile or not.

Personally I would raise dog tax temporarily and use the revenue to put a DNA registration system in place that would cut out dog fouling once and for all. Once the system is in place I would remove the tax completely and use the revenues gained from the hefty fines to maintain the system.

Looking at a broader level I would review the whole legislative framework surrounding pet ownership which is a privilege and not a right. Without getting too draconian I think people should have to prove they have sufficient knowlege and resources before they're allowed to own an animal.

Devil's Advocate

Great plan! DNA testing will make the poo problem evaporate overnight.

DB6

I do think dog tax is a good thing, they should be registered. That said, as a cat owner, I also think it should be compulsory for cats to be chipped - I have seen on the GSPCA website a cat that needs £1,000 worth of treatment. You cannot walk away, you are an owner, take responsibility.

Demeer

Two points..

1. Why in this day and age I can't pay it online and have the license emailed to me as a PDF I just don't know..

2. If you look at it from all sides, can you expect parishioners without a dog to pay for the bins? By that logic can I stop paying for my parish church then please? I certainly don't use it..

GYgirl

In France you often find waste bag dispensers located at waste bins - would this not be worth trying at locations such as L'Ancresse Common? Also, how about spot checks to see if dog walkers are carrying bags? Has anyone ever been fined for not picking up? It's frustrating that all dog owners are tarnished with the same brush when it's obviously the minority that don't pick up.

Another option would be to consider including dog waste collection as part of community service.

An Al Forever

Time to abolish it and start enforcing on the spot fines for dog owners who break the current laws 100 quid a time should jog peoples memory

PLP

The problem is catching people and without a DNA register that's almost impossible.

I honestly believe if a Rudy Giuliani style zero tolerance policy was brought in along with a DNA register the problem would disappear almost overnight. Huge fines and the threat of having the dog rehomed for persistent offenders would do the trick I reckon.

peabody

I presume like cats, dogs have annual booster jabs? If so then maybe annually they would have to show their dog tax receipt to the vet before treatment & when vets send out booster reminders, on that reminder they could add, "have you paid your annual dog tax?"

An Al Forever

PLP

Spot on