STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2006 SESSION
Senator LORETTA WEINBERG
District 37 (Bergen)
Permits each municipality to set amount of dog license fee.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel
An Act concerning municipal dog license fees and amending P.L.1941, c.151.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 12 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.12) is amended to read as follows:
12. a. The governing body of each municipality may, by ordinance, fix the sum to be paid annually for a dog license and each renewal thereof, as required by section 3 of this act, which sum shall be not less than $1.50 [nor more than $7.00]; provided however, that the governing body may by ordinance, provide for a reduction or waiver of the sum to be paid by an owner who presents a certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian stating that the dog has been spayed or neutered. In the absence of any local ordinance, the fee for all dog licenses shall be $1.50.
b. The governing body of each municipality, may, by ordinance, fix the sum to be paid for a 3-year dog license and each renewal thereof, which sum shall be not more than 3 times the sum charged for an annual license under subsection a. of this section. In the absence of such a local ordinance, the license fee for a 3-year dog license shall be $4.50. The Department of Health shall promulgate appropriate regulations concerning veterinarians' certificates for rabies inoculations of dogs for 3-year periods in connection with licenses issued under this subsection.
(cf: P.L.1978, c.168, s.1)
2. This act shall take effect immediately, and shall apply to all dog licenses issued after the effective date of this act.
This bill removes the statutory maximum amount that can be charged by a municipality to a dog owner for a dog license and allows the municipality to set its own fee. Under current law, the maximum annual fee is $7.00. Smaller municipalities, with fewer dogs to license, have complained that the $7.00 maximum annual fee does not cover the cost of the statutorily-required animal control responsibilities in those municipalities, including the cost of an annual free rabies clinic, an animal control officer and a pound facility to house stray animals for the required 7-day period. The failure of the dog license fee to cover these costs means the affected municipalities must use other municipal revenue to provide the required services.