May 18, 2024

Dog owners need to prepare for a new high tax rate in canton Bern. In particular, owners of dogs classified as dangerous will be required to pay. The tax increase will come into effect from January 1, 2025. At least, if the local council agrees to the finance committee’s recommendations from Tuesday evening.

For the first dog in the household, the amount should increase from 48 euros to 60 euros. On this total, committee members still fell short of the administration’s proposal. They had listed an increase to 70 euros in the meeting template. SPD parliamentary group leader Lars Stenken said: “That would have been a very large percentage increase. Dogs are relational creatures, especially for older people, so they will be particularly affected.” was justified.

Politicians unanimously agreed during budget talks that the dog tax should be increased, meaning it had to be increased for budgetary reasons. The last adjustment was made in 2011.

Politics wants to send a signal

Committee members wanted to see a “significant” and “substantial” increase in taxes on dangerous dogs. “Send a signal.” The CDU demanded 450 euros for the owner’s first dangerous dog and up to 550 euros for each additional dog. Accountant Ilona Sinsky Hauerken pointed out that owners of dangerous dogs “often are economically disadvantaged” and therefore do not pay taxes. “Then it must be recovered,” demanded CDU parliamentary group leader Karl Ernst Thümler.

This extends to forced detention

Mayor Hartmut Seelenstedt

Mayor Hartmut Seelenstedt has made it clear that the government is pursuing those who have defaulted on payments. “Administrative law will apply.” However, in many cases, economic success is not achieved. “It goes as far as forcing people into detention,” the head of the town hall reported. “Then the owner went to prison and went out again. Everything was already happening in Bern.”

Field service as a dog counter

Residents called the town hall multiple times to report seeing dogs running around outside without tags. “It used to be that the local mayor counted the number of dogs,” Mr. Seelenstedt said. There is no longer a mayor. So the mayor wants to ask the city’s outdoor services to count the number of dogs. “There are many unreported numbers.”

Bernese Dog Tax Law divides dogs into five groups with different tax rates. From 2025, the first dog will be paid 60 euros, the second dog 102 euros and each additional dog 120 euros. In the future, the owner will have to pay 420 euros for the first dangerous dog and 480 euros for any additional dangerous dog. The Finance Committee unanimously recommended this.

Fighting dogs aren’t the only ones that are dangerous.

At Byrne, dangerous dogs include not only representatives of so-called fighting dog breeds such as pit bulls, American terriers, Staffordshire terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, and bull terriers, but also those dogs that fight with each other and other dogs. This includes crossbreeds with dogs. A dog is also dangerous within the meaning of the Bernese Dog Tax Act if the competent authority determines that, based on the dog’s temperament, temperament, and training, the dog poses a high risk of harm to humans. “Dachshunds can also be dangerous dogs if their behavior is difficult,” stressed Treasurer Anke Egenhoff.

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