I first heard about a dog tax in a French comic book as a child. A family was playing a record on a turntable of the Skater’s Waltz by Frenchman Émile Waldteufel, sung by dogs, according to the drawings, of course. The family had earlier claimed they did not have a dog and at some point, the dog tax collector came back and gave them a fine for having a lot of dogs after hearing the record through the front door.
Like many things in the Netherlands that make little sense, municipalities often charge very different fees for things that shouldn’t be that different from one place to the next. A quick look at Noord-Brabant has Tilburg (107,86 euro) and Breda (104,55 euro) as the most expensive, followed by Veldhoven (84,18 euro), Den Bosch (83,64 euro) and Eindhoven (77,00 euro).
Municipalities that charge over 100 euro include The Hague and a few other places close to it that border the coast, Groningen way up north, Nijmegen next to Germany. Dog owners in 57 per cent of all municipalities still pay dog tax. One reason for a large amount of municipalities not to charge dog tax is that they need to have collectors and that’s expensive and not always very efficient.
Not only is dog tax apparently the oldest type of tax in the Netherlands, it’s also rarely used for cleaning up dog poop.
For anybody who cares about the situation in Noord-Brabant, feel free to sign a petition in order to get rid of dog tax.