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.
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,”
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.” — “Now add anti-healthy, environmentally-unfriendly policies to that list.”
Supporters point out that Oregon has no sales tax, which means buyers won’t be dinged twice for their new wheels. Oregon relies instead on its income tax, among the highest in the nation at 9.9 percent.
Two-wheelers are a big deal in Oregon: Portland was ranked the third-most bike-friendly city in 2016 by Bicycling magazine, citing the 7.2 percent of residents who commute by bicycle.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Oregon Democrat, defended the state bike tax, calling it a “modest fee” that raises the profile of the bicycling community in the transportation debate.