Oregon has become the first state to initiate a bike excise tax.
As reported by Bike Portland, House Bill 2017, a major transportation bill, passed the Senate today. It will next go to Governor Kate Brown for signing.
The bill places a $15 tax on new bikes that cost $200 of more. The bill was opposed by small business owners and biking advocates.
So there you have it. We are taxing the healthiest, most inexpensive, most environmentally friendly, most efficient, and most economically sustainable form of transportation ever devised by the human species.
The only way to like this tax is to think 1) it will quell the anger from people who think, “Those bicyclists don’t pay their fair share!” (it won’t) or 2) you think the money it raises for infrastructure outweighs the potential disincentive to new bike buyers, the erosion of profits from bike retailers, and the absurdity of it on principle alone.
The tax is expected to raise $1.2 million per year and cost $100,000 to administer, which is set to go to ConnectOregon, and set aside specifically to "for the purposes of grants for bicycle and pedestrian transportation projects. This includes "bicycle trails, footpaths and multi-use trails."