Saturday, March 7, 2009

Three Republicans and a Democrat Want To Tax You Again To Ride Your Bike

In these days of fluctuating energy prices, global climate change, and decreasing incomes, the last thing the Oregon Legislature should be thinking about doing is making ecologically-friendly alternatives more expensive, but that's just what Reps Sal Esquivel (R-Medford), Wayne Krieger (R-Gold Beach), Bill Garrard (R-Klamath Falls) and Mike Schaufler (D-Happy Valley) want to do.

A liberal complaining about a new fee or tax may be odd, but really, only if you're a conservative who thinks using talking points instead of a brain. It's a matter of fairness.

The bill in question, HB 3008, sponsored by the four State Representatives, asks bicyclists–many of whom either own at least one car and is therefore already paying vehicle-registration fees, DEQ fees (if you live in the metros), gas taxes and insurance just to maintain the privilege of using an automobile to pay even more–$54 dollars every two years, to register a vehicle which delivers little or no wear on your neighborhood roads, makes you more fit, and pumps zero hydrocarbon emissions into the road.

Of course, I suppose there are many who use bicycles because they don't have or can't afford a car. Now it will cost them more. Many such people presumably ride a bike because they don't have that much of an income. Now they'd have to pony up $54 just to avoid getting a $25 ticket every time they get gigged for it (viewing the breeziness of the way the newsreaders on KATU simply dished off the cost as No Big Deal shows just how out-of-touch some people can get)

This can only lead to fewer people getting on two-wheelers to improve thier health, the health of the environment, and thier own economies. What we need to do is encourage people to get on bikes, not discourage.

As a person who owns two cars (and pays into the commonweal commensurate to that posessiveness) I am certainly not for being taxed again for doing the right thing. Bikes are not the problem, and making it more expensive to ride them will not solve any problems either.

If you feel as I do, you might want to contact these representatives and explain to them that this is not innovative, but rather a lack of vision:

Contact Rep Esquivel here.
Contact Rep Kreiger here.
Contact Rep Garrard here.
Contact Rep Schaufler here.
Go here to find out who your state representative is and tell them too.

And if you want a PDF with the complete text of HB 3008, click here for the download.

This is an official Bad Idea™. It needs to die.

Also, the BTA, who has the right of it, clues you in on Rep Krieger, the chief sponsor, who just seems to hate you if you ride a bike.


  1. I have a feeling that the term "outlaw biker" is about to take on a new meaning.

  2. I own two bike trailers ... are they going to be TAXED as well. Watch your wallet, folks. The legislature is still in session!

    Stephen Fosdick
    Sisters, Oregon

  3. Bill Garrard is unfortunately my representative. This stupid bill was brought to my attention when he and two other local legislators hosted a town hall meeting a couple weeks ago. He seemed to freely admit it was a facetious proposal meant to annoy the Portland Democrats who are supposedly running the show. You clearly recognize where the logic falls apart, so I won't rant any further.