Colorado pet owners be alert!

Hey from Colorado. This came up this morning in This is super important.

PLEASE email or call our representatives. We have to help stop this. This is not a scam.

ALERT: Colorado Pet Tax for ALL Animals

Colorado House Bill 24-1163 enters a new level of big government and big taxes. The bill will add a new tax of up to $8.50 (but actually up to $25) on EACH pet and it includes ALL animals, even invertebrates. The tax is paid every year. It also requires every pet to be registered with the State and assigned a “designated caregiver.” If you do not name a “designated caregiver,” the cost for each pet is $25 annually. There is no cap or per household type of maximum taxation. This will also be in addition to any local taxes (like dog licenses).

To summarize how outrageous that is, if someone has 100 aquarium fish, they could be paying $850 annually to have aquariums. If you do not register a “designated caregiver” with the State that means having 100 aquarium fish will cost you $2,500 annually! Ten pet reptiles will cost $85 to $250 annually. 20 assorted pets (dog, cat, hamster, parakeet, tarantula, 2 snakes, three frogs, and 10 fish) would be $170-$500 each year for this new tax. This tax would apply to koi and goldfish in outside ponds, backyard chickens (unless on a bona fide farm or ranch), and all other “pet animals.”

The new “online pet animal registration system” will be created and maintained by the Department of Agriculture. The penalty for not registering your animals is up to $100 per animal (“per unlawful act or violation”). If a good citizen is unaware of this new law, those 100 unregistered aquarium or water garden fish could cost $10,000 in fines!


The bill does not state any exemption for Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act (PACFA) Program registered animal breeders/sellers. So the tax could apply to each animal in those facilities that is over six months old.

The only animals exempt are “livestock”: working animals (not “pet animals”) on a farm or ranch, and animals raised for “food or fiber production.”

The bill claims it will “connect pet animals with their owners and designated caregivers when and after emergencies occur, and protect pet animals by supporting animal shelters that are caretakers of last resort.” Sounds noble but it will accomplish none of that when people cannot afford to register their pets and also may not want the government taking up more seats in their living rooms. Basically, this bill claims that no person is a responsible pet owner and that people should only be allowed to have pets if they pay more taxes to the government to monitor their pets for them. It is more collective punishment. Because someone abandons their pet, it means that everyone else must pay for it while the people causing any issues will simply not pay the tax.

The bill is titled the “PET ANIMAL REGISTRATION ACT” and it was introduced by Representative Regina English.

The bill has a hearing on Feb. 22 with the House Agriculture, Water & Natural Resources Committee.

Read more at: USARK page


I’m not in Colorado, but this is insane. I can’t imagine how much I would have to pay for all my animals (the majority of which are snails in my aquarium) But like, an isopod colony? How are you supposed to count that? This could really hurt pet breeders too…


Most definitely. Someone even commented about crickets and Dubia. How the heck is that gonna work. I have been on a 2 hour campaign to get thee word out. Thank you


I saw this posted on another forum last night and boy is that a wild one.
I really hope that doesn’t become a widespread idea. Even just the implications for anyone with a simple aquarium is insane


If I was in Colorado, I wouldn’t be registering any animal.


I have friend in CO who is a breeder so I am going to contact him………


This is mind boggling…


I know, how do they think this is going to fly?
Like, for example, if you buy a fish in an aquarium, it’s probably going to be like a 3-5 dollar fish. However, you now would need to pay around $8.50 just to keep it. Not to mention that this is for every year that said fish lives. So, say it the fish lives to be around 3 years (Which is stretching it, but I have fish that are almost two) the tax adds up to $25.50 to keep one $3 fish.

That’s crazy, and not right. Dogs and cats, okay, I can get that a little, but every pet? That’s too much.


Im gonna start making paper &textiles out of my snake sheds so that I can be in the “wool or fiber production” bracket :face_in_clouds:


I was just reading about this earlier. It’s completely insane. As if pet ownership isn’t already expensive enough. They claim the money collected from these taxes will be used to “help animals,” but how many animals will it be helping when people can’t afford pet food or vet care because they’re paying up to $25 per year per animal in extra taxes? It may not seem like that much money if you only have one or two animals, but it can add up real fast, especially if you keep something like fish or invertebrate colonies. And what about feeders? If you raise/keep insects or rodents to feed your pets, do those feeders also count as pets that are taxable? And what about breeders? Are they included in this? What about pet shops? And how do they plan to enforce this? Seems like even halfway effective enforcement would be complicated, intrusive, and expensive.

This seems like one of those idiotic laws that has not been thought through at all. Hopefully it never even makes it to the floor for a vote. But if you live in CO, you should definitely contact your state reps. It might be worth writing to CO state reps even if you don’t live in the state, because as we’ve seen before, once a stupid law gets passed in one state, other states want to jump on the bandwagon of stupid.


Seems likely to be an “animal rights” group’s step in the direction of a total ban on pet ownership. Sure the money is an issue but it’s the principle of having to register with the government after 20,000+ years history of keeping animals that is the biggest issue for me. Will we need a license to garden next? My rep isn’t on the committee but I wrote them anyway and my state senator too for good measure. Representative Holtorf on the committee is a rancher so presumably not completely isolated from the natural world but he is in the minority party so might not have much authority.


I have also writtent a few. Maybe i need to write the rest of the committee. Good idea


Well isn’t that just a kick in the teeth for all you guys in CO! That is just awful! But it really doesn’t surprise me. I would say more but……

Just be prepared everyone here because *we ain’t seen nothin yet *. :smiling_imp:


Yikes. Im in CO and this is absolutely insane. I have a pretty basic 55gal aquarium, but total fish in there is almost 20. That would already be quite the annual cost! Plus 5 colonies of isopods, 11 snakes, and a cat.
Will they tax my backyard pigeon friends, too? The jumping spider that lives in my houseplants?
I’ll definitely be writing in about this. Thanks for bringing it up!


Basically this bill cedes jurisdiction over all animal ownership to the state. It doesn’t matter if it was only a penny per animal. We would be saying that the government SHOULD be in the business of keeping a list of who has what. It’s just the first step to all kinds of restrictions on freedoms around animal ownership. And there are for sure powerful lobbies that believe no animals should be owned. Governments are constantly trying to seize more power and we citizens must constantly resist before we are buried in a sea of regulations.


This is absolutely insane. I thankfully don’t live in CO. I have well over 50 fish alone not including anything else. Where do they draw the line? Do isopods count? Do beetles count? Do springtails?


I live in CO. I have ten isopod cultures in (individual) big plastic storage bins that I keep only as pets-some of the species I keep aren’t even suited to be reptile clean-up crews, they’re simply cool. Assuming that each bin holds approx. 200 individuals, which is a low estimate, and the tax for each animal (invertebrates being specified as counting) being $8.50, it would cost me $17,000 in taxes every year. $17,000. For ISOPODS. They all fit on one 4’ by 8’ shelf! And if I don’t register and get caught, that’s $200,000 in fines. I repeat. $200,000 in fines. I would be completely ruined. And where will they put my isopods after I’ve been crushed by debt? On the isopod ranch? The well-known isopod rescue shelter?That’ll do them a lot of good, surely.

I highly doubt this will pass-the sheer amount of furry pet owners who don’t want more taxes or state registration will prevent it-but the fact that it’s even being seriously considered makes me nervous. Reading the text of the actual bill makes it very apparent that it’s a dog/cat bill and quite possibly even had noble intentions-the taxes and list would, apparently, be used to help reunite lost pets with owners and reimburse animal shelters for their time/effort spent caring for the lost pet (and “help maintain the system,” so I don’t believe a single cent will actually be spent effectively, but I volunteer at a shelter. We get a lot of lost dogs/cats Any money helps, as ineffective as it is). But as usual exotic owners aren’t considered and as a result get run over by the bus.

I will be emailing my representative and encouraging everyone I know to do the same.


Thank you. I just wonder if its a start big so smaller changes will be more acceptable later.


I don’t think so. The person trying to pass the bill is a first-term legislator and right now the bill doesn’t have any co-sponsors. IMO the legislator is attempting to combat dog/cat hoarders, especially after certain recent incidents, and has not thought through the actual consequence of this bill’s actions. Based on the bill’s wording I do believe it is a bill to protect pets and owners and has good intentions behind it. But it is made by someone with no experience and a complete lack of understanding of pet owners out of the traditional mold of dog/cat.

The bill is also not well-written. Confusing and poorly defined. I wouldn’t be worried about this being a big conspiracy to destroy pet ownership through legislation-it does exist, but not here. I’m worried about individual well-intentioned legislators who only have experience with dog/cat ownership passing bills that, out of ignorance, end up causing massive problems for exotics owners. I’d focus on that in any emails/calls I made, pointing out that this specific gap in the bill’s knowledge will hurt a specific segment of the voting population disproportionately.


I would never trust a bureaucrat to interpret any gray area in your favor. It may seem obvious to you that this was meant to apply to cat and dog hoarders but the government is never going to interpret anything so as to limit their own power. And I’m sure most people outside the exotic community think we are all hoarders anyway.

I would argue we are snake ranchers but there are actually lobbies wanting an end to all commercial agriculture too so we are dealing with people who don’t even understand where food comes from.

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