Crapo, Stabenow introduce bill to relieve veterinarian shortage |

Crapo, Stabenow introduce bill to relieve veterinarian shortage

-The Hagstrom Report

Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. late last week reintroduced bipartisan legislation they say would address the veterinarian shortage in rural areas.

The bill would provide an exemption from the federal income withholding tax for payments received under the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program, which Congress established in 2003 to assist selected food animal and public health veterinarians with student loan repayment for a three-year commitment to practice in areas of the country facing a veterinarian shortage.

“The program helps veterinarians with daunting student loan debt make a living in a community where starting a practice may be otherwise financially impossible,” the senators said.

But they added, “The VMLRP, however, is subject to a significant 39 percent federal withholding tax on the assistance provided to qualifying veterinarians. This overly burdensome tax limits the reach of the program and its benefits.”