What They Are Saying: Oregon Dem Gov Kate Brown’s First In The Nation Bike Tax Deflates Cyclists

With Oregon’s Democrat Governor Kate Brown expected to sign the nation’s first ever sales tax specifically on bicycles, the move is being met by unexpected backlash from her state’s cyclists and their outrage is receiving national attention. Now that Kate Brown has decided to cash in on Oregon’s coveted title as one of America’s most bicycle-friendly states in order to fund her reckless tax-and-spend policies, more and more Oregonians are realizing just how out of control her policies have gotten. Here are some highlights of recent coverage:

The Washington Times reported on the backlash by Oregon cyclists against the tax, some of whom call it “an unprecedented step in the wrong direction:”

“In Oregon, a state known for its avid bicycling culture, the state Legislature’s approval of the first statewide bike tax in the nation has fallen flat with riders.

Democratic Gov. Kate Brown is expected to sign the sweeping $5.3 billion transportation package, which includes a $15 excise tax on the sale of bicycles costing more than $200 with a wheel diameter of at least 26 inches.

Even though the funding has been earmarked for improvements that will benefit cyclists, the tax has managed to irk both anti-tax Republicans and environmentally conscious bikers.

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.”

ABC Portland also interviewed Oregon bike vendors displeased with the tax, one of whom blasted it as a “barrier to entry:”

ANCHOR: “Governor Kate Brown is expected to sign a new bill making Oregon the first state in the country to tax new bike sales; the bill would add a fifteen dollar tax to new bikes costing more than two hundred dollars and with wheels twenty-six inches or bigger. We talked with local bike shops. Bob Kamzelski who co-owns City Bikes in Southeast Portland, says he thinks it’s unfair to cyclists.”

BOB KAMZELSKI: “Like I love cycling, I think cycling’s a really great thing to do for the planet, for our city, it’s healthy for the people who do it and like adding another barrier to entry to that is just really not great.”

Fox News noted opposition to the tax from small business owners, angered that big-box bike retailers will be exempt from the tax:

“But the hobby hailed by its proponents as healthy and good for the environment is now set to become more costly after Oregon legislators passed a massive transportation package that includes a tax on the sale of bicycles…

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?’”

And in its report, the Independent Journal Review mentioned the litany of other taxes passed by Brown and her Democrat allies on the people of Oregon:

“As The Washington Times reported, Democratic Gov. Kate Brown is expected to sign a $5.3 billion transportation bill, which includes a $15 tax on every bike sold in the state costing more than $200 with a wheel diameter of at least 26 inches.

While the 2017 Oregon legislature imposed new — or increased — taxes, fines, or fees on marriage, divorce and the purchase of automobiles, it also extended health care benefits to undocumented immigrant children, according to the Statesman Journal.”