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Friday, June 29, 2012
Dog droppings get out of hand so city eyes tax
By MIZUHO AOKI
The city of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, may tax its dog owners because many fail to clean up after their pets on its streets, officials said Thursday.
A dog tax could be imposed in about two years, and the revenue would fund special patrols to clear away dog droppings from streets, Mayor Hiroyasu Chiyomatsu told the city assembly Wednesday, the officials said.
No local government has imposed such a levy since the village of Shiga, Nagano Prefecture, scrapped its dog tax in March 1982.
Izumisano officials said they received about 30 complaints from residents last year about dog droppings left on streets or near their homes, and that the number of complaints has remained steady over the last few years. Some 5,374 dogs were registered in Izumisano as of Wednesday, they said.
However, they admitted that no specific details have been discussed so far.
The city introduced ¥1,000 on-the-spot fines in January for residents who don't clean up after their dogs or toss cigarette butts onto a street. Not a single resident has been fined to date, a city official said.
According to the internal affairs ministry, local governments must pass relevant ordinances and gain approval from the minister before implementing a dog tax.
Similar taxes on dog owners were often imposed in the postwar years, with 2,686 local governments having such levies as of 1955, a ministry official said.