Apr 3, 2009

Tax the Bicyclists!?!

Good ran a short piece about a proposed tax on bicycle riders in Oregon. This seems like a shake-down to me. The plan would be to require people to register their bikes for a period of two years at a cost of $54. The argument is that bikes use the roads and should pay for infrastructure. 

I understand that, but I already own a car and pay for gasoline (which is taxed for road repairs) and I own a house (which is subject to special assessments when the road needs repair) and I pay property tax on the house as well. Plus, having recently bought another bike, I paid tax on that as well. 

Seems like a short sighted scam to me. I wonder how much they think they would actually drum up from this? I suspect almost everyone would ignore the law and not register the bikes, making this a waste of time (and tax payer's money).


  1. So - according Oregon representative Wayne Krieger, who proposed the tax "... The only people that pay into the system are those people who buy motor vehicle licenses and registration fees...”

    That statement is so flawed. Motor vehicles don't come close to paying the cost of the infrastructure that they use. As you noted, yours and my property taxes pay a substantial portion of road maintenance. Car-less or car-light people are subsidizing roads. My take is that the auto user ought to pay for what they use by way of substantial gas tax increases and pre-Ventura like registration fees.

  2. That's Jennifer in red, then Molly to her right and Hellen closest in yellow.