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Neil is a good person, and right on the points.

The other point is that if this tax only complete bikes, it is even more regressive. Many high end/custom bikes are bought as a frame only, and then built up by a shop or at home. So you are really only about bikes in the 500-1000 range that are sold as a stock model.

This whole thing is just going to be a headache for shop owners.
Posted by Action Slacks on February 22, 2013 at 4:27 PM · Report this
Don't worry, Tim Eyeman will rush the the cyclists defense.......

I would be happy paying a tax on every bicycle related purchase without floor if WSDOT based their budgets on mode share. In doing so, 3% of all road funds would go directly to bicycle facilities, 10% would go to transit, and 15% would go to pedestrian projects. That would still leave like 70% for car and truck stuff. The current budget is 93% for car and truck stuff ($9.3 billion out of $10 billion raised). That doesn't seem right to me.

It wouldn't even have to be intended share as in "we would like to see 20% mode share in bicycles" and spend accordingly. We would just need the funds to meet current demand.

But here's a fun loophole: Bicycles are typically sold without pedals, and without pedals, they are not technically bicycles, but just a collection of bicycle parts, and parts are not covered, even though a set of wheels can amount to many times that threshold.

My take is that this is just Clibborn throwing a carrot in front of Republican legislators so that they can feel as though they are taking one out on the city folk. It does nothing and won't last.
Posted by Why are there cars? on February 22, 2013 at 4:28 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 3
Just admit bicycling is a religion and your tax problems are over.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on February 22, 2013 at 4:29 PM · Report this
Maybe he should call Tim Eyman for help?
Posted by Sugartit on February 22, 2013 at 4:37 PM · Report this
"This whole thing is just going to be a headache for shop owners."

Since when has that ever stopped liberals for imposing costly taxes and regulations?
Posted by Sugartit on February 22, 2013 at 4:39 PM · Report this
I thought taxes for infrastructure and society was a good thing...
Posted by goldys whats wrong with america on February 22, 2013 at 4:41 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 7
Just because they want to add a 5 percent surtax on bikes while cars pay a 0.7 percent surtax and cause 1000 times more damage per vehicle than bikes do?

Gee, what whiny taxed-to-the-brink whiners those cyclists are ...
Posted by Will in Seattle on February 22, 2013 at 4:49 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 8
@4 that way leads to madness.
Posted by Will in Seattle on February 22, 2013 at 4:50 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 9
Why businesses function as the unpaid tax collectors has always amazed me. Be that as it is, I get the feeling things down in Oly are getting desperate. Every one is standing with hat in one hand and red headed left handed bastard child in the other asking for money, and no one in Oly has the guts to say No. Every one Every interest Every concern is quickly becoming "at risk youth."
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on February 22, 2013 at 4:52 PM · Report this
And how about an added tax on studded tires? They cause far more wear and tear on roads than other tires.
Posted by Beth on February 22, 2013 at 5:01 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 11
Tim Eyman wannabe motherfuckers.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 22, 2013 at 5:08 PM · Report this
Whoa whoa whoa. Is this guy seriously implying that rising taxation could negatively affect employment??? He's clearly a rube of the first order! Let's run him out of town!
Posted by Reader01 on February 22, 2013 at 5:33 PM · Report this
Gurldoggie 13
I'm a devoted bike rider, and back in the day I was part owner of a small bike shop. I have no problem at all, in theory, with bike owners and riders being taxed to pay for their portion of the roads. Makes sense to me - we all chip in to pay for the services that we all benefit from.

The problem of course is that these new taxes won't come close to granting bikers the additional services they need - safer right of ways, legal protection from dangerous drivers, or even a fair share of road access. Instead, they will doubtless be used to fund more highways and arterials that bikes will NEVER use, while doing nothing to stop the morons who honk and scream from their driver side window when I dare to claim my legally granted lane of traffic.
Posted by Gurldoggie on February 22, 2013 at 5:33 PM · Report this
@1: No "bicycle" sold, no tax. Parts, kits--different thing.

Just sell all bikes without a front wheel, as "bicycle parts". Offer the wheel as an accessory.
Posted by tiktok on February 22, 2013 at 7:05 PM · Report this
Its not my State so not my tax but shouldn't the percentage of the tax charged be the same for any vehicle that uses the roads?
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on February 22, 2013 at 10:28 PM · Report this
@14 - Totally agree.

However, it creates a problem for stand up shops like Montlake vs. bottom feeders. Ultimately, this creates a risk that could put shops into conflict with the State regarding how they conduct business.

The main point is that this further disadvantages local shops vs. the Internet retailers on price.
Posted by Action Slacks on February 22, 2013 at 11:26 PM · Report this
This is a really stupid idea...but by the standards of Republican Stupid 2013 (tm) (the tax being a sop to get Republican votes for a more useful tax), it hardly registers as a blip.

I commute a couple times/week by bike but I am having trouble getting too worked up on this one.

Posted by david on February 23, 2013 at 12:31 AM · Report this
Why don't we tax central bankers or the Bank for International Settlements, instead? They have plenty of money to go around. They print bonds out of thin air, sell them for cash, and then lend that cash to governments at interest. Our income tax pays much of that interest...
Posted by Siddha on February 23, 2013 at 7:56 AM · Report this
Timrrr 19
Really?!? Someone putting down $500+ on a bike is going to forgo the purchase because of one-time $25 tax???

Color me incredulous.

(And, Will, car owners pay a minimum of $43.75 per car per year to register their vehicles. Bike owners every year will have to pay exactly... not one goddamn penny!)
Posted by Timrrr on February 24, 2013 at 1:58 AM · Report this
NaFun 20
So buy used from Craigslist or ebay and avoid the insanely priced local shops even more? Gotcha.
Taxing bicycles for road funding is ridiculous.

Posted by NaFun on February 24, 2013 at 5:22 PM · Report this
Of course, Neil is right on all points.

I agree that the tax is a cheap shot by a shallow legislator who wanted to kick a target not popular with her constituency, that it will do little to enrich state coffers, and that it makes the already difficult business of competing with online retailers still harder. More, it is a totally regressive tax--perhaps it could be a tax on poor people or even a punishment for being poor--and that truly luxurious bikes are effectively exempt.

Nonetheless, I want the state to have more money. The dreadfully underfunded public schools shames me, and you people couldn't abide an income tax, so this is what we get. It's a shame.

Perhaps somebody can finally pass a law by referendum that leads to a nightmarish outcome sufficient to end legislation by referendum. In the meantime, it strengthens the prospects of used bike sales. As a retailer who sells only used and custom bikes, I welcome a greater distinction between cheap new bikes and thoroughly refurbished used bikes.

Nonetheless, the key word here is shame. It's already like being a pariah riding on public streets. Now we can pay a little fee for the privilege.
Posted by Ashokm on February 24, 2013 at 7:08 PM · Report this
"Bicycle Shop Owner Opposes New Tax on Bicycles"

Gee, that's a surprise.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on February 24, 2013 at 9:31 PM · Report this
So it reduces employment, raises prices, increases regulations and produces no net revenue. It would seem that the only 'good' thing the bill does is punish bike riders.
Posted by nato on March 5, 2013 at 9:56 AM · Report this
We don't have to worry about that I'm sure there is a positive outcome behind that bicycle tax we just have to follow the rules for our own good .If your looking for a bicycle to buy come and visit us no need to save a lot of money.payday loan can help you pay for your new bike and taxes on it.

Posted by casandra on March 8, 2013 at 11:55 PM · Report this
I am a bike store owner here in Brooklyn Buswick NY. I can tell you from first hand experience tat the internet is already making it tough for existing bike shops to compete. I have personally watched people come in and test ride bikes then look them up on line where they can usually find them tax free or at a better price direct from the dealer. To raise taxes on bike sales will only make it harder for local shops to stay open and be a huge boon to internet retailers who are seeing government tax their competition out of existence. We pay sales tax to the government. Its up to them to decide where to allocate those funds. adding taxes is never good for the industry, economy or in the case of bicycles, society.
Posted by northbrooklyncycles on February 2, 2014 at 10:17 AM · Report this

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