I had to read the MyCentralJersey.com Hillsborough dog license fee story through a couple of times, and do some math, before I figured out what was going on.
It's not obvious from the story, but with some multiplication and division, I was able to determine that there are about 3,600 dogs in the township. The $7 license fee established twenty years ago just has not kept pace with the amount Hillsborough pays annually for state mandated animal control services. In 2010, pet owners contributed $25,000 toward the $60,000 fee, with the balance being made up out of the general fund, i.e. your tax dollar.
Don't get me wrong, I don't believe dog owners should shoulder the entire cost for animal control - especially since it is expected to be as much as $126,000 by 2012. After all, the entire town benefits from these services, even if you don't own so much as a goldfish.
Still, the Hillsborough Township Committee's proposal to gradually raise the license fee to $20 over the next two years will mean that leash holders will be covering about 55% of the expenditure - which seems just about pawfect.