A TAX ON BICYCLISTS?

Read­ers re­spond to law­maker’s idea

The Denver Post - - PERSPECTIVE -

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

Lind­say Pierce, Yourhub file

Repub­li­can state Sen. Ray Scott re­cently floated a con­tro­ver­sial pro­posal to tax bi­cy­cles to help pay for Colorado’s in­fra­struc­ture needs.

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