Dear friends of BRIT – The Texas State Legislature will re-convene on January 12th, 2021 for the 87th session.
Please contact your Texas Representative and Texas Senator about these issues affecting Texas rescue organizations like BRIT. Note – these are State issues, not Federal issues.
- We feel rescue organizations should not have to charge sales tax on adoptions.
- We feel it is important to pass legislation that terminates an owner’s rights when a stray hold has passed at a shelter.
You can find your Texas representatives here: https://wrm.capitol.texas.gov/home
SAMPLE FORM LETTER (copy and paste):
Dear [Legislator’s Name],
I am reaching out to you on behalf of all 501(c)3 rescue organization’s in Texas, and specifically Brittany Rescue in Texas, Inc.
In August 2019, the Attorney General reviewed the Texas Tax Code Sec. 151.343 and the Texas Administrative Code Title 34 Part 1 Chapter 3 Subchapter O Rule 3.316 and concluded that as of 9/1/2019 all 501(c)3 rescues must start paying sales tax on any adoption fees. The codes exempt shelters, but there are no rescues that are able to meet the requirements to be considered a shelter, so all rescues are now required to pay sales tax. We are supporting rewriting these codes to include 501(c)3 rescues as well as shelters in the exemption.
We are suggesting these codes are re-written to the following verbiage:
(m) Sales by nonprofit animal shelters and rescues. The sale, including the acceptance of a fee for adoption, of an animal by a nonprofit animal shelter or 501(c)(3) rescue is exempt from sales and use taxes. The term “animal shelter” is defined in Health and Safety Code, §823.001, as a facility that keeps or legally impounds stray, homeless, abandoned, or unwanted animals. The term “501(c)(3) animal rescue is one that is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as one operating for the purpose of saving homeless, abandoned or unwanted animals and is in good standing with the IRS.
We are also requesting an amendment to the Health and Safety Code to provide a date/number of days after which ownership interest of a dog in the shelter terminates, regardless of local ordinances. Failure to have this type of terminating language has called into question adoptions for every shelter. It has also put a burden on countless rescues in court and lawyer’s fees trying to defend rescuing an animal from a shelter despite following all rules and regulations when pulling a dog from the shelter. This issue has the potential to affect every shelter and rescue in the state of Texas.
Thank you for your time and consideration in these issues. We as a rescue community appreciate any help that you can give in supporting these changes to the laws in Texas.