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Dog license inspectors checking for unregistered canines

Warning for dog owners

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE - Dog license inspectors are going to turn up at your door soon. The Hague, the third largest city in the Netherlands, sternly warned its citizenry recently that its inspectors are about to start making extra checks on dog owners to track down anyone who is not paying their “dog tax.”

The Hague requires people with one or more dogs to pay a “dog tax” or so-called hondenbelasting, a dog registry with a dog head tax. People may love their dogs but hate to pay the tax, making it an ongoing struggle for municipalities to collect the money. The threat of a fine in addition to the license cost (or tax) has not created a rush to register any illegal canines.

The dog tax must be paid for all dogs, large or small, emphasizes the municipality. To add a sense of urgency, the municipality lets it be known that it does not make any difference if the dog is kept inside or not. Dog owners must register their dog online or at the Municipal Tax Department counter.

In addition to threats of additional fines, the municipality’s website also offers hardship-facing low-income dog owners a way out of the license fees: apply for an exemption from the dog license. Anyone can download the form from the website.

Proceeds from the dog license flow into The Hague’s general revenue. People who pay the dog license are assured they contribute to the city’s livability.

The license fee for the first dog is 111,96 euros, for the second dog 175,44 euros, for the third or more dogs each 222,48 euros. A kennel license costs 332,52 euros.