Historical reasons: the cat as a utility animal, the dog as a luxury animal
One of the reasons why there is more or less “always” a dog tax in Germany lies in history: Dogs were taxed as early as the 19th century – they were considered luxury goods for a long time, which is why dog owners pay a luxury tax had to.
Cats, on the other hand, like some other domestic animals, were considered to be farm animals, which caught mice on farms and were not a luxury item for people, but a helper. That is why they have not been taxed in the past.
Of course there were exceptions: in Prussia, for example, according to the Spiegel, both dogs and cats, horses, ducks and housebirds were taxed.
There are some good arguments in favor of the cat tax
There are many arguments in favor of a cat tax. They often move around freely in cities, which is why their owners do not clean up the faeces left behind like dog owners. Apart from that, they kill many birds and can therefore – in certain regions – be a thorn in the side of conservationists. The FAZ mentions the extremely poor ecological footprint of cats as a further reason.
While these aspects are a very good rationale for introducing a cat tax, they still don’t exist.
Taxing cats is not directly profitable
Why is that? In Germany, cats do not have to be registered like dogs, which is why the registration of animals, which is necessary for taxation, would initially mean great efforts.
Der Spiegel explains that recent attempts to introduce a cat tax have repeatedly failed due to their inefficiency. Survey and control would cost more than the resulting volume.
Of course, this inefficiency only includes the direct euros for the tax authorities. The introduction of a cat tax would probably still be worthwhile for ecological reasons – possibly even economically over time.
However, it is not that far yet and cat owners can look forward to not having to pay any tax for their pets. Dog owners, on the other hand, pay around 300 million euros in dog tax every year, according to Spiegel as of 2016.
Finanzen.net editorial team
Image sources: Hasloo Group Production Studio / Shutterstock.com, mtr / Shutterstock.com