From KNKX: Oregon Bicyclists Could Pay Tax To Fund Bike Path Improvements 

A proposed $8 billion transportation spending package in Oregon could include a tax on the sale of bicycles. It’s a funding idea that’s often talked about but has rarely been implemented nationwide. …
The bike tax is still being debated at the state capitol, but the current proposal would tack on anywhere from three to five percent to the cost of a new bike. Under the current version of the plan, the tax would only apply to adult bikes that cost more than $500. …
Democratic Senator Lee Beyer helped craft the bike tax proposal. He says it came in response to a common refrain among lawmakers and the public.

“They felt that bicycles ought to contribute to the system, bicycle owners ought to contribute to the system, irrespective of the fact that most of them also own a car,” he said.
As for the cost, Beyer says the tax needs to be large enough to generate significant revenue above the cost of collecting it. But he says the fact that it’s in there at all means bike riders are now among the state’s transportation priorities.
“There’s a pretty big commitment to bicycle commuters in the [bill], and to the extent we do that, there are certain environmental advantages to do that, and it does address congestion to some extent as well.”
If it passes, Oregon would be the only state with a statewide tax specifically for bicycles, though it’s been proposed in many places. Some cities around the country do charge bicycle owners a registration fee.

Comments

  1. Should there then not be a sugar tax to cover the externalities of additional hospitalization rates?
    The UK has a tax benefit for getting a bike, having costed the health benefits and finding that its a cheap benefit … this seems to do the opposite.
    That said … paying a couple % is a low price to be able to answer back the annoying ‘you don’t pay for the roads’ claim without using lots of caveats and explanation of taxation and road funding policy.
    Maybe the best option is to add the tax, but also have an offsetting tax benefit for healthy behaviors … pay $10 bike tax, but get $100 health credit … I’d be up for that!

    1. Since cyclists already pay for the roads I don’t know if this will satisfy the bigots. They’ll think of something else I’m sure. The desire to believe in an underclass that one can be superior to is pretty high in some people.
      Instead of pandering to motorists’ myths they should be educating them on how wrong they are.

  2. It was pretty obvious the usual suspects were going to squawk at the outrage that cyclists should actually pay for their infrastructure/
    On a sad note, I see we have what might be our first cyclist-on-cyclist fatal accident, with one rider hitting another on Yukon. Neither wearing helmets and now one in critical condition. Riding a bike is not the carefree hockey-card-in-spokes experience it was in your parents driveway. It comes with responsibilities and those include costs.

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