Dog tax varies greatly between municipalities, but is this allowed?
Arjen Schep, Professor by special appointment of Local Government Taxes at Erasmus School of Law, discusses this on Radio 1 at Blok&Toine. Schep explains the big differences between dog tax rates in different municipalities. Some dog owners spend 0 euros, where others within the same province spend 150 euros per year on this tax, depending on their municipality.
Schep explains that the legislator has given municipalities the freedom to set the taxes they deem necessary within the legal framework; the dog tax is one option from this toolkit. Municipalities may therefore deviate from each other without any problems arising. According to Schep, however, there are all kinds of plans for a new local tax system in which the dog tax may be abolished.
Given the small support base for this tax, an abolition might indeed be obvious. "why is a cat owner not taxed?" will often be heard, for example. According to Schep, it is simple: "The dog tax has existed for a long time and has simply never disappeared from the municipal law."
Schep warns that a municipality like The Hague collects two million euros annually through the dog tax. When this is abolished, there is a good chance that the property tax or parking tax will increase to compensate for the loss of income.