(Feb. 6) – A bill by Rep. Mike McLachlan (D-Durango) to continue an income tax checkoff for voluntary contributions to help the state’s unwanted horses was approved unanimously by the House Finance Committee today.
Form 104, the standard state income tax form, includes a line (line 43 on this year’s form) that allows an individual taxpayer to make a voluntary contribution to the unwanted horse fund. HB13-1164 retains that option on the tax form for five more years.
The checkoff raised $93,000 last year, Rep. McLachlan told the committee. All donations to the unwanted horse fund go for care, feeding and adoptions of horses that have been seized from cruel or abusive owners or given up by owners who cannot afford to care for them anymore.
Rep. McLachlan testified that the number of unwanted horses entering the system statewide was about 6,000 last year, and is rising because of drought-induced increases in the price of hay.
“In the 59th District we are seeing hay as much as $10 or $11 a bale, and previously, in good years, in my district it’s been as low as $3 a bale,” he told the committee. “So it’s a tremendous increase which adds to the cost and also creates a problem of greater unwanted horses.”