Pet Food Manufacturers: Sending the Pet Food Sales Tax to Doggie Heaven

Overview

In a move to free up general fund revenues for other programs, Multnomah County political leaders rolled out a proposal for a pet food sales tax to fund Animal Control services.

Challenge

CFM was retained by pet food manufacturers to stop the tax.

Approach

CFM created a grassroots organization of pet owners to protest the selective sales tax. CFM also looped in the support of the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association, Guide Dog Users and retailers. Letters began to pour in to county officials, who assumed there would be little community outcry about the tax. The media focused on the news angle of what the increased cost could mean to volunteers who train guide dogs.

Result

At the first public hearing on the proposed tax, more than 60 people showed up and testified in opposition to the tax. The flood of negative attention prompted county leaders to withdraw their tax proposal and instead appoint a task force to look at alternative ways to pay for Animal Control services. CFM assisted in rounding up information from elsewhere in the nation for the task force, which pushed aside any consideration of the pet food sales tax.