It comes to a shock to most Americans when you wake up one day in Germany and realize that there is a dog tax. From community to community.....it's a different rate. A cat tax too? No.....they've basically said that because dogs are walked and they have a cleaning campaign in each town....there's a cost angle to dogs, so they are the ones under this threat.
In the one community around Kaiserslautern, I knew the yearly tax was around twenty-Euro....per dog. In some places....it goes up around a hundred Euro.
This week, it got brought up in northern Hessen about a court episode where a city (Bad Sooden-Allendorf) wanted a horse tax. The Federal Administrative Court got into the middle of this. The verdict this week? The judge says that the owners have the money to have horses.....so they have the money to pay the tax. Pay up.
The expected tax? Two-hundred Euro, per horse.
What happens now in Bad Sooden-Allendorf? Well, there's some indication that the horse farm or local riders association (a stable) will dissolve and go away.....as owners package up their horses and send them to other stables (well outside of Bad Sooden-Allendorf).
While the riding club considers options and threatens more legal action....I suspect they will face a supportive base that will rapidly disappear.
So, this brings me to this odd analysis. The town of Bad Sooden-Allendorf has roughly eight thousand residents. They could have easily gone into a public relations episode and tried to overtake the town council in the next election....tossing the old guys out....but it's not a guaranteed thing and you'd be paying 200 Euro a year until that tax got voted out.
Why create a tax and you as the city council knows the anticipated reaction....people quitting the club and local stables? Well.....with no income.....the stable would be forced to break the lease or sell the property. Yeah.....forced to sell the property.
A guaranteed commercial re-use? I'm guessing within three years.....there's a center of commerce there on the old stable property.....small mall area.....gas station....grocery.....industrial plant area....etc. It'll be shocking to the city council to realize what happened (not really, they were probably in on the planning and helped to force the transfer of the property).
Bad ethical cause? Maybe, if this is the end-result. But the city council will always claim that it was property tax usage, and they figured the commercial was a better tax revenue deal for them, instead of the silly horse stable usage.