I thought the McHenry County Republican Cat Tax was dead.
(I tagged as the Republican Cat Tax” because all the members of the County Board were Republican and Chairman Ken Koehler was it primary proponent, along with member Tina Hill, who carried the ordinance on the Board floor.)
But Maryellen Howell of the Veterinary Division of McHenry County Department of Health testified in a Senate Agriculture & Conservation Committee meeting on May 7th in favor of authorizing a statewide.
It’s in a bill sponsored by Republican Jill Tracy of Quincy and Democrat Linda Holmes of Aurora.
The bill looks pretty harmless, requiring rabies shots for feral cats (the ones that run wild) and domestic cats, even those who never go outside where they could be exposed to a critter with rabies.
The short description of the bill that most legislators view before voting, if they view anything at all, follows:
Provides that every owner of a cat that is a companion animal and is 4 months or more of age shall have each cat inoculated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian. Provides that every cat that is a companion animal shall have a second rabies vaccination within one year of the first.
Provides that the provision does not apply to feral cats; however, if a feral cat is presented to a licensed veterinarian for sterilization, the feral cat shall be inoculated against rabies, unless the person presenting the feral cat for care provides an inoculation certificate showing that the feral cat has been inoculated against rabies, and the cost of the inoculation shall be paid by the person presenting the feral cat to a licensed veterinarian for care. Provides that a veterinarian who inoculates a feral cat shall issue an inoculation certificate to the person who presented the feral cat for veterinary care.
Makes other technical changes. A
A new fee, which the McHenry County Health Department proposes to impose, is among the “techical changes.”
This must be passed by the McHenry County Board to become effective and McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks uses his power not to put items on committee and Board agendas if he doesn’t like their content.
So, If the County Board gets a chance to vote on this proposed Cat Tax, Jack Franks has to take the blame.
Under the proposed Per\mits, Fees, Licenses, Registration section of the Health Department Rules, one can find the following:
County Cat or Dog Registation
Every owner (except for Animal Control Facilities licensed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture) of a dog or cat four months or more of age shall register such dog or cat and shall pay an annual registration fee for said dog or cat to the McHenry County Department of Health. Upon payment of the required fee, as set forth in the Public Health Fee Ordinance, and compliance with §8.04.890 of this Ordinance, a registration tag shall be issued. All registration tag sales are final and no refunds will be issued.
With the ommission of the new fee on cat owners, perhaps one can understand why only one state legislator voted against the bill.
Allen Skillicorn was that legislator.
What will the cost be, if the County Board approves the ordinance changes?
- $7 a year for sterilized cats
- $60 for a three-year license sexually active cats
- $17 for a three year registration of sterilized cats
- $10 for a late fee
People over 65 get a $5 discount if they register a dog.
No such discount for old cat owners though.
One would assume that the extra money will pay for the personnel, material and record keeping costs with some left over.
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See 1-25-10 article with County Board Roll Call before the primary election: