There's more to the feline fee than DeMaio claimed
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
San Diego CityBeat
by Kelly Davis
July 20, 2011
Coined by San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio in a July 11 press release, “cat tax” was a catchphrase destined to go viral. Even the U.K.’s Daily Mail wrote about what DeMaio described as a “revenue grab” by the city.
But the issue’s not as simple as its moniker. Requiring cat owners to vaccinate and register their pets and pay a $25 fee was the last of 10 recommendations in an audit of the city’s $9-million animal-services contract with county. Before those recommendations even made it to the five-person Audit Committee (DeMaio’s a member), the Mayor’s office had already shot down the cat tax.
“If you look at the presentation of this entire audit as a ‘cat tax’… it really overshadows the fact that there’s $3.2 million worth of findings for taxpayers,” Assistant City Auditor Chris Constantin says.
DeMaio failed to mention that in his press release or subsequent press conference.