Thursday, March 19, 2009

BREAKING: The Bike Tax, About To Die The Death Of Stupid Ideas

The dawning light of sweet reason is rising over the State Capitol, as the Bike Tax–the risible idea dreamt up by State Representative Wayne Krieger (R-naturally) and signed on by two other SW Oregon republicans and a Metro area Democrat who should have known better.

The AP is reporting (via OregonLive) that HB 3008, the statewide bicycle registration fee, what amounts to a bike tax, is going nowhere. Which is a good thing, even if bike-haters don't want to see it.

Bikes offer economical, affordable transportation to those who can–and those who can't–afford cars. Bike wear on our streets and highways are as near to nonexistent as makes no difference. The cost of adding striping and bike-safety facilities to streets must certainly pale into insignificance next to the cost that cars and trucks inflict on the road system. Moreover, there is no one more immediately effective way of reducing your contribution to local pollution and global climate change.

And if that doesn't convince ya, remember that most bike riders are already automobile owners. We've (and I include myself in that group) already are taxed and pay fees to have the roads to begin with, and we happen to think that if taxes and fees are the entry cost for having an opinion, we've already been worked over for it! If you only drive a car and feel your opinion on this is important, then our opinion must certainly be as important as yours.

Look. Every few bikes on the road means more room for your car. This is a win-win, and with I think the actual cost of supporting bikes as part of the system would actually be, you get it with no extra cost.

And if that does't change ya mind, think on this: while money to implement bike safety programs and additional bike infrastructure would be neato-mosquito, it probably wouldn't happen anyway: according to State Rep Terry Beyer (D-Springfield), the chairwoman of the committed where this gold plated (rhymes with "bird") isn't about to get a hearing, the revenues required to run the registration system would just about use up the revenue it generates anyway.

So if you think that additional money from this tax is going to support bicycles, then you're laboring under a terrific misconception, and you must stop it.

Let this stinker die.

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