A TAX ON BICYCLISTS?
Readers respond to lawmaker’s idea
Your editorial asks: “Why not tax the bicyclists?” The simple answer is that an extra tax on bikes will hurt, not help, solve Colorado’s transportation needs.
Unlike the example from Oregon, every bicycle purchased in Colorado already incurs sales tax, which contributes to paying for our roads just like cars, trucks and motorcycles.
Colorado’s mom-and-pop retailers are already under pressure from out-ofstate online sales. Adding an additional tax only on Colorado purchases hurts local businesses and sends more money to out-of-state companies, which is the opposite of what we need.
Bike trips instead of motor vehicle trips save wear and tear on our roads. We should be encouraging active transportation options, not penalizing them. Let’s work together to identify a long-term transportation solution for Colorado. Adding an extra tax on bikes is a step in the wrong direction.
Dan Grunig, Denver
The writer is executive director of Bicycle Colorado.
The idea for a bike tax seems primarily geared toward road bikes; however, as a mountain biker, I would not be adverse to a tax on my type of bike as well. We ride trails for free at many places like Chatfield Dam, Bear Creek Lake Park and of all the Jeffco Open Space trails.
While we pay taxes indirectly to these entities through income and sales taxes, it takes a lot of staff and labor to maintain and construct these trails. I’d support such a tax for my mountain bike.
Richard Plastino, Lakewood
As a bicyclist of amateur status, I find the idea of taxing bicyclists to be decidedly punitive and wholly unwarranted. Call such a tax for what it is: a resentment tax aimed at punishing bikers for using a non-polluting, asphaltsparing, clean-energy alternative to driving a car and for our feeling pretty good about that.
Most bicyclists own cars, pay property taxes and otherwise provide money that pays for roads, so no additional tax is necessary. Bikes also don’t damage road infrastructure or increase global warming as your car does. And for that reason alone, you should be thanking bicyclists for being environmentally friendly and perhaps making available a parking space for the car you drove to work today.
Susan Altenhofen, Fort Collins
As a parent, I’m concerned that families could pay an additional $60 to $100 for bicycles if an additional tax was added specifically to bike purchases.
My daughters are teenagers — not yet of driving age. They enjoy the independence gained by riding their bikes to the park, sports, the trails, and around town vs. having to catch a ride in a car. Even when they are able to drive, we’ll still urge them to ride, if possible (the same way we live, as a onecar family).
Cycling is a healthy transportation option and has a positive effect on the environment. People who ride bikes regularly save taxpayers money down the road by having fewer health issues. If this tax passes, kids will be singled out to pay an additional tax. Penalizing them or for enjoying a healthy, happy lifestyle makes no sense.
Katie Macarelli, Golden
Republican state Sen. Ray Scott recently floated a controversial proposal to tax bicycles to help pay for Colorado’s infrastructure needs.