Veterinary Sales Tax Exemption Passes Vermont Legislature

The legislature passed language clarifying the veterinary exemption for sales and use tax on veterinary supplies!

Though the House was not on board at first, the Senate Finance Committee Chair, Ann Cummings, insisted on the language that clarifies and protects the exemption for veterinarians. They were at a stalemate for several days and then the House relented, and the language ended up being moved to another bill that sets the education property tax rate (a must-pass bill – H.536). The House and Senate agreed to the final language yesterday.

Veterinarians now have their own section of the tax law and the exemption is not buried in the agricultural exemption. The final language adopted by the legislature is below.

There was only one concession made by the Legislature and that was for prescription dog food will not be protected under the exemption. We are not sure why this exception was made, but we all know when it comes to doing the political dance you don't always make it through with everything you want.

** * * Sales Tax; Veterinary Supplies * * **
Sec. 5. 32 V.S.A. § 9741 is amended to read:

(53) Prescription drugs intended for animal use, and durable medical equipment and prosthetics intended for animal use, and veterinary supplies intended for animal use. As used in this subdivision, “prescription drugs intended for animal use” means a drug dispensed only by or upon the lawful written order of a licensed veterinarian, and “veterinary supplies” mean tangible personal property therapeutic in nature, not normally used absent illness or injury, and not intended for repeated usage.

What will be taxed are grooming and boarding supplies, OTC meds (except those exempt for human use), and all pet food including prescription food.

The bill is now on its way to the Secretary of State where it will sit for three legislative days before being assigned an Act number. It will be then sent to the Governor for signature. Once signed, it becomes the law in Vermont and the department with jurisdiction over the issue (in this case, the Tax Department) will begin the rule making process.

The new Tax Department rules must go before LCAR – the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules. That committee is comprised of eight members from both the House and Senate who review the rules and ensure that they are consistent with legislative intent. They will hold a public hearing and again, we will have an opportunity to weigh in if we are concerned about certain language or clarity.

This successful effort would not have been possible without the hard work of Vermont Veterinary Medical Association, the bill sponsors and Senate Finance Chair Ann Cummings (Washington County) who was steadfast in efforts to protect the exemption. Please take a minute to thank Senator Cummings and your legislators for their work on behalf of veterinarians. Senator Cummings:

Your House Representatives and Senators contact information can be found here: