A bill that would allow local taxpayers to create special taxing districts for the purpose of spaying and neutering animals stalled in a House Committee on Thursday, after the National Rifle Association and others voiced opposition.
The bill, HB 1127, seeks to use property tax dollars to help reduce the number of animals euthanized each year in Florida, which some say is as high as 800,000.
Last year, a majority of Miami-Dade voters supported the idea of a small new tax for helping to control the pet population. The bill would have made it easier for voters in other counties to do the same.
But the clock ran out at the House Committee on Local and Federal Affairs before a vote could take place. No one on the committee requested an extension of the meeting, the customary practice in the Legislature when there’s a time crunch for a vote. Instead, the meeting ended abruptly.
It was not clear if the bill would pass -- it faced strong opposition from gun rights groups and veterinarians.
Marion Hammer, a lobbyist for the NRA and the Unified Sportsmen of Florida, said the bill would make Florida a dumping ground for other states to offload unwanted pets.
“If this bill passes, Florida could become the pet welfare state of the nation,” she said.