As they passed their $5.3 billion transportation package, Oregon Democrats included a $15 excise tax on the sale of bicycles costing more than $200 with a wheel diameter of 26 inches or more. Leftist Governor Kate Brown will sign it.
Democrats love taxes and they love bikes so you’d think it would go over well, but it hasn’t.
The tax will be collected at the time of sale and will go toward projects “that expand and improve commuter routes for nonmotorized vehicles and pedestrians.”
Still, liberals and Republicans alike are very unhappy.
One local bike shop said it will take $8,000 to $15,000 “right off our bottom line.”
BikePortland publisher Jonathan Maus called it “an unprecedented step in the wrong direction.”
“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,” Mr. Maus said.
Oregon Republican Party Chairman Bill Currier blasted what he described as Ms. Brown’s “endless obsession with finding new and innovative ways to take money out of the pockets of Oregon taxpayers.”
Small business owners have expressed their opposition to the tax, saying the $200 price will exempt bike sales from big-box retailers.
“This tax still feels punitive in the fact that it unfairly puts the burden of this tax on small business,” Chris DiStefano, the owner of River City Bicycles in Portland told KPTV earlier this year. “Why would we cut off that revenue source, and potentially 75 percent of the revenue source would be bikes sold through those stores? Why would we cut that out?”
Tax-happy Democrats say bikers aren’t paying their fair share. Democratic state Rep. Earl Blumenauer said it’s only a “modest fee”.
That’s for now! Once it’s in, it will grow. In the meantime, Democrats are nickel-and-diming people to death with fees.
There will be a formal opposition we hear.