German dog tax sees record spike in revenue during pandemic

Published : September 16, 2021 10:24 IST

Dogs owners almost everywhere in Germany have to pay a yearly tax for their pet. Photo: dpa/picture alliance

Cities and municipalities cashed in on dogs, as tax revenue paid by dog owners in 2020 rose by nearly 3 per cent.

Germany raked in a record revenue from dog records in 2020, the Federal Statistical Office said on September 14. Public coffers collected about €380 million ($448 million) from the dog tax. The figure represented an increase of 2.7% compared to 2019, when Germans paid €370 million. 

The Federal Statistic Office data show that the trend is continuing. In the first quarter of 2021, dog tax revenue was around €159 million, 8.4 per cent higher than in the same quarter last year. 

What is behind the increase?  

The Federal Statistical Office said there was not enough information to determine if a rise in tax revenues meant a rise in dog ownership, as it could also be a factor of rising tax fees. Statistics also show that dog tax revenues have been rising consistently. Dog tax revenue in 2019 was 3 per cent higher than the previous year and 50 per cent higher than ten years earlier.

Long confinement, lockdowns and a reduction in travel as a result of the COVID pandemic could have also contributed to an increase in pet ownership. Dogs owners almost everywhere in Germany have to pay a yearly tax for their pet. This money is collected by individual municipalities.

The sum varies and it can be as little as $5 or nearly $200 per year, depending on the city or community. In Germany's capital, Berlin, dog keepers pay $120 for one dog per year and $180 for each additional dog.  

jcg/wmr (dpa, AFP)