By Stan Bush
DENVER (CBS4) – Bike shops in Denver are outraged by an idea from State Representative Ray Scott (R-Grand Junction) to add an extra tax to the sale of bicycles.
“I was disappointed,” says Christopher Scott of Campus Cycles in Denver. “We think everyone should pay fairly for what they use on the roads.”
In an interview with Coloradopolitics.com, State Rep. Scott said cyclists we’re getting a free ride and should be taxed the same way as cars, ATVs, and boats.
“How many rights do we give to cyclists that we don’t give to everybody else on the road?” said Scott. “Snowmobiles don’t hurt the snow, ATVs don’t hurt the dirt, boats don’t hurt the water, and they pay a tax, maybe we should eliminate those taxes.”
Critics argue that the tax is not based on good policy, but out of an anger towards the cycling community. Christopher says the money raised would just be a drop in the bucket to fixing infrastructure for cyclists and compared it to a sin tax on tobacco.
“Adding additional costs to a behavior we want to encourage doesn’t seem like something we want,” says Christopher.
Scott said he was following the lead for the state of Oregon, which recently passed a $15 sales tax on bikes over $200.
That money goes to pay for infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians.
Critics say the tax plan, which has not gone into effect yet, will not make much money or much difference to the cycling community.
Scott says he is unsure what form of the tax would take, but he is considering it seriously. However, due to Colorado’s tax laws any change in taxes would have to go to voters.