GOP LAWMAKER FLOATS BICYCLE TAX IN STATE
A top Republican state lawmaker this week floated a proposal to tax bicycles to help pay for the state’s infrastructure needs, an idea that would make Colorado only the second state to do so.
Sen. Ray Scott, the assistant majority leader from Grand Junction, wrote on Facebook that he plans to introduce some sort of bicycle tax in the wake of the Oregon legislature voting this month to levy a flat $15 sales tax on bikes valued at more than $200.
“Maybe it should just be a license plate?” Scott wrote on his Facebook page. “What do you think?”
Whatever form it takes, the suggestion is sure to inflame long-standing tensions between motorists and cyclists, with cycling advocates already promising to fight the proposal.
“Bicycles are part of the solution for our roads, not the problem,” Bicycle Colorado wrote in a post soliciting donations.
The tax would be a drop in the bucket towards the state’s projected $9 billion in infrastructure needs over the next decade. The Oregon tax is expected to generate less than $1.4 million a year, according to a state revenue analysis.
But there are differences between the two states. For one, Oregon doesn’t charge state sales taxes. In Colorado, bicycles are already subject to a 2.9 percent state sales tax plus local taxes. In Oregon, the bike tax was part of a larger package.