They tax horses don’t they?

This was posted on The Pilot news website:

    The 112th Congress is looking for ways to raise revenue.

    There are approximately 9.2 million horses in America. Applying fair taxes to horse owners would create significant revenue and spur the economy. Taxing horses would also create a greater sense of responsibility for horse owners.

    Citizens take better care of things they have to pay for. Taxing horses would also deter horse overpopulation, as breeding would be minimized. Redeeming pride for America’s much-admired companion animal would make passing bills to halt horse slaughter more favorable.

    Taxing horses would benefit all facets of the horse industry. Revenue would be available for trail maintenance in parks and education on horse care, and would provide wages for committees to oversee the horse industry in each state.

    For a copy of a petition pertaining to this article, visit Horses as National Treasure at

    Moore’s, off May Street in Southern Pines, and Sandhills, off Bennett, have lists of representatives and informative articles along with petitions.

    Stephanie M. Sellers

Bald_Dude commented twice, one supporting horse slaughterhouses if made more humane (an oxymoron; can’t be done) and rejecting tax on horse owners, and this one. We have separated it into paragraphs for easier reading.

If we regulated the total number of horses being born each year and tax the “breeders” you could more reasonably control the population much the way manufacturers and other goods producers regulate their productions. The end result would be this; if it cost a breeder more to sell a horse, he would be less inclined to breed large numbers, this in turn would drive up the cost for the average person to buy a horse, which would then be a better motivator for them to take better care of a horse. If you buy a Kia and a Mercedes which do you think you would take better care of?

We have enough taxes as it is now. Why make matters worse? There are plenty of other means to raise funds for trail maintenance, horse care classes, and I think we have entirely too many “Committees” as it now.

So before you choose to debate me on animal rights, slaughter houses, and government taxation, let me provide you with this tidbit. I am a horse owner, and I am also a life time member of many Equestrian Groups whose sole purpose is the betterment of the quality of life for not only our loyal equine family members, but also for those of us who have dedicated most of our lives to caring for them. Bottom Line: We DO NOT need more taxes!!!!!!

Do not agree with the horse to car comparison, but love the idea of taxing breeders. Breeders currently enjoy a breeding incentive by way of millions of tax write off dollars. Eliminate that and tax them. Overactive breeders are the root of the surplus horse situation devaluing the market. This would return horse breeding to quality over quantity and benefit the industry as a whole.

Another idea. How about cutting the Bureau of Land Management’s budget for deadly helicopter roundups, just for starters? The federal Department of Interior agency is hemorrhaging millions of taxpayer dollars annually while destroying our wild horses and burros to the very brink of extinction.


9 thoughts on “They tax horses don’t they?”

  1. I understand your POV. Have had same ideas. But to make a universal America safer for horses it will take all horse owners. I imagine taxes and registry coinciding with yearly Coggins testing. I don’t imagine persons or officials collecting tax door to door or farm to farm.
    Exclusion of (us) small scale, 1 to 5 horse owners who have horses valued at $1,200 each, would forsake us from the benefits of taxing horses.
    Benefits include utilizing county horse Sanctuaries where horses would be kept safely and cared for when owners no longer can. Horses would be screened for adoption and or retirement. They would be a safety net to keep our near and dears from the slaughterline.
    Our rescues do a great job of saving many, but there are not enough. We must all come up with plans and ideas to market to congress in order to close the chapter on horse slaughter. County horse sanctuaries could fulfill many needs in the horse industry. Functioning as a safety net is one.
    As stated on website, it is time for our gov’t to stop enabling the Kings of horse breeding. Benefits of fair taxing should include all horse owners, not just the rich ones.


    1. I agree for the most part.

      Ideally a fair tax on all horses would ensure to maximize revenue and hold all horse owners accountable. The idea of collecting the tax at annual Coggins testing is a good one however these documents are falsified on a regular basis and so it yet again comes down to honesty and willingness to comply.

      On the other hand since breeders are typically required to register horses, together with the fact that this is an industry/business and should be subject to tax since there is profit generated from it, this is a perfect opportunity to enforce a fair tax at this level on registry. Perhaps there could be taxation schemes wherein “hobby/pet” horses and rescues would be charged at a lower tax rate. This is the norm for income so why not horse ownership and its relevance to profit generation versus “love and compassion”.

      This doesn’t necessarily limit the tax to the rich although that might be integral to the measure simply because as a rule it requires money to be part of the horse industry.

      I believe taxation has its merits but what is in conflict to me is whether something like this would detract from horse ownership at the basic and loyal level of companionship and sanctuary. If anything we do not want these individuals to bear the burden of those who are at fault for the situation.


  2. Who is going to go out and collect the taxes? If it is anything like dog licensing this is a difficult proposition to ensure each and every horse gets taxed.

    In any case, I agree that it is over breeding that is the culprit in terms of “unwanted” horses. Why bother with a tax for those who own horses as pets and defintiely not for organizations such as horse rescue and sanctuaries? These are the very people who keep horses out of the slaughter pipeline.

    Breeding incentives and prohibitive tax write offs should be abolished and taxes enforced. Easy enough said, but then this is corporate America.

    There would be more than enough revenue collected from the breeding industry to help turn things around while at the same time help eliminate unscrupulous breeders and buyers who discard a horse once it fails to turn a profit. Unfortunately this is the norm rather than unusual.


  3. 4% Fair Tax Averages on America’s 9.2 Million Horses
    Replaces Horse Slaughter with Logic and Value

    Avg. Value of Horse Value x 4%= Tax(x Number of Horses) 4% x Avg. Value
    501©3 0.00 Until Adopted
    $300-$2,500 $48×4 = 1billion.9m.2k 1,200 avg.value
    $2,500-$5,000 $100×1.2 = 120.m 2,500 avg.value
    $5,000-$10,000 $300×1.2 = 360.m 7,500 avg.value
    $10k-$50k $1000×1.2 = 1billion.2m 25k avg.value
    $50k-$100k $2800 x 1.2 = 3billion.360m 70k avg.value
    $100k-$500k $10,000×1.2 = 12billion 250k avg.value

    This is vast revenue to pay for land, training, and wages for Committees to oversee America’s horse industry, including reclaiming the Wilderness Preserves for Our Mustangs.

    Rebuild America with pride.
    We built this Nation with horses.
    We can do it again.

    Sanctuaries will not only foster horses but should be learning facilities to teach responsible horse ownership. Ideally, Sanctuaries should adjoin Federal owned land already utilized by equestrians or with promise to do so, such as land owned by The Army Corps of Engineers, State Parks and National Forests.

    Horse owners will become more responsible when paying taxes and
    over-population will gradually cease as horses become more valuable. Petition site.


  4. This may be the only way to regulate breeding. I would suggest a small tax on horses already born (like $25/year/horse). A much larger tax on new horses born($100/foal). That would encourage breeders to reduce what they breed. That money should go into rescue funds. Real rescues should be exempt from the tax, and they should actually be able to apply for grants out of this fund to help shelter the horses they take care of. This is brilliant. This would seperate the men from the boys. I would be willing to pay a small tax on my 4 horses if it meant that the whole horse slaughter issue would go away for good. BRAVO to the person that thought of it. Due to the gridlock we have all been in over this issue (and I am 100% strongly AGAINST horse slaughter), this may be our way out.


    1. Paula,
      Horses are expensive. If people cannot afford them, they need to be adults and sell them/give them to someone that can. If this tax could provide relief and help to rescues, more people could do rescue. Individuals temporarily down on their luck could also apply for help. But, for those that just truly need to get out of the business or cannot afford to have horses to begin with, this would tip the scale for them. Would you continue having children you could not afford to feed? At some point, we have to draw the line and stop expecting horses to keep paying the price for our lack of judgement.


      1. Unfortunately there are many people who do continue to have children when in fact they cannot support them and rely on social services to do so.

        Sadly this type of behavior applies to humans and animals alike – more so in the case of the latter – lack of accountability and undeniably poor judgment.


  5. This has the potential of being a good thing or a bad thing. How much tax per horse is being proposed? Will horses at registered non-profit rescues be taxed? Will the money go directly to support horse welfare, or disappear into the general fund? If it’s earmarked for horses, who’ll manage the money and “pick and choose” who gets funded? Please God, don’t let it be the Unwanted Horse Coalition! IMO they’re more interested in personal salaries, slick promotional material, and “recognized expert” ego pumps than the poor horses.

    Vivian, here’s a link I found at the bottom of the article from “The Pilot”. It’s about Obama’s Stimulus Act and the horse industry. I’m not too quick on the uptake when it comes to tax issues, but it seems to me this would ENCOURAGE breeders to set up NEW operations rather than trimming things down.


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