March 10, 2005
ANIMAL LICENSE FEES AND MUNICIPALITIES
By: Joseph Holstead, Research Analyst
You asked what portion of animal license fees municipalities keep.
Municipalities keep about half of the funds remaining from dog license fees, replacement or transfer tag fees, and kennel license fees paid after the town clerk and municipal fiscal officer disburse portions as required by law. The law requires that those portions go to the Animal Population Control Fund (APCF), which funds sterilization and vaccination benefits for any unsterilized dog or cat adopted from a municipal impound facility in Connecticut, and to the Department of Agriculture (DOAg).
The law restricts how municipalities use the remaining funds.
DOG LICENSE FEES
By law, on or before June 1 annually, each owner or keeper of a dog must license it in the town clerk's office where the owner or keeper keeps the dog (except for dogs kept under a kennel license or dogs that are under six months old (CGS § 22-338)). For each neutered male or spayed female, dog owners or keepers must pay the town clerk $7, $2 of which go to the APCF, plus an additional $1 in each case as the town clerk's fee for issuing a tag and license as required by law, bringing their total to $8. Dog owners or keepers of unneutered male or unspayed female dogs must pay the town clerk $12 for each dog, $1 in each case as the town clerk's fee, plus an additional $6 that goes to the APCF, bringing their total to $19. The law requires the town clerk to issue a license and a tag for each dog that an owner or keeper pays to have licensed (CGS § 22-340).
Town Clerk's Required Disbursements
The law requires that within thirty days after receipt of the fees for dog licenses town clerks must deduct $1 for each dog licensed, in addition to the APCF requirements. The remaining balance goes to the municipal treasurer, or other proper municipal fiscal officer, who must place the funds into a separate dog fund account (CGS § 22-347).
Municipal Treasurer or Fiscal Officer Payment to DOAg Commissioner. Each town treasurer or fiscal officer must keep a separate dog fund account of all fees received from the town clerk and all receipts from, and expended by, the municipal animal control officer (ACO) in his or her duties. On September 1 annually, the town treasurer or fiscal officer must pay the DOAg commissioner 50% of all funds he received from (1) the sale of dog licenses that the town clerk sold before July 1, (2) transfer or replacement tags, and (3) kennel licenses. However, if a municipality chose to have its ACO undertake a survey of unlicensed dogs as allowed under CGS § 22-349, the treasurer may instead choose to pay 40% of all funds to the commissioner. Either way, the treasurer must include with such payment a statement of the number of licenses issued during the year.
Additionally, all funds received from licenses sold after June 30 and all funds received from the municipal ACO must be kept by the town treasurer or other fiscal officer in the separate Dog Fund account. The town treasurer or other fiscal officer must, also on the ensuing September 1, send 50%, or 40% as the case may be, of all license fees in such account to the commissioner, including any penalty fees.
USE OF REMAINING LICENSE FEES
Municipalities may only use the remaining funds for:
1. the compensation of municipal animal control officers (ACOs) or for ACO equipment,
2. license certificates,
4. the construction and maintenance of dog pounds,
5. the detention and care of impounded dogs,
6. dog supplies, and
7. such veterinary fees as are provided for by law or regulations.
Municipalities cannot use the remaining funds for any other purpose, except with the DOAg commissioner's written approval. A municipality may not pay back fees paid into a municipality's treasury for tags or licenses for dogs to the people from whom they were collected (CGS § 22-347).