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Bicycle tax would be bad for Colorado

Senator Ray Scott, from Mesa County, Colorado introduced the idea of taxing bicycles as a way to help pay for roads in Colorado. First presented on July 19, the senator wanted to “float” the concept to see if it’s viable. He suggested that a bill may be put forth in the 2018 legislature, following a recently-passed law in Oregon that added an additional tax to bicycle sales.

“We want to work with Senator Scott and the state legislature to find solutions to our transportation needs in the state,” said Dan Grunig, executive director of Bicycle Colorado. “We worked tirelessly on the transportation bill (HB 17-1242) in the 2017 legislature to ensure that people who walk, bike and take transit would be represented, but the bill ultimately failed.”

With the threat already building, we need your support more than ever. Help us to fight a bike tax – join today!

An extra tax on bicycles is a bad idea for many reasons:

  • Bicycles are part of the solution for our roads, not the problem. More bikes on the road are better for everyone. Adding an additional tax to bicycle purchases is not the answer and could lead to reduced bicycle sales and fewer people riding.
  • All bicycle purchases are subject to sales tax, and sales taxes are one of the many taxes that go toward paying for our roads. Adding an additional tax to bicycle purchases would be double taxation.
  • And of course, bikes don’t contribute wear and tear to the roads as much as motor vehicles do. If more people commuted by bicycle instead of driving, our roads would be in better shape, requiring less maintenance and reduced expenditures to fix potholes and resurface.

If what is traditionally known as a pro-bike state like Oregon can pass a bicycle tax, it could happen here, too. Who will be representing bicyclists on this issue when the legislature opens in January? Bicycle Colorado. If you don’t want to see a tax added on bicycle purchases in Colorado, join today. Already a member? Consider an additional gift. We need your support more now than ever!

Bicycle Colorado

About the Author: Bicycle Colorado

Bicycle Colorado is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Denver. We use advocacy, education and passion to make Colorado one of the most bicycle-friendly states in the nation. We encourage and promote bicycling, increase safety, improve conditions and provide a voice for people who ride bicycles in Colorado. With the support of our members and numerous partnerships across the public and private sector, we’ve made significant strides in improving bicycling since 1992.


David - Reply

Maybe if it does not get out of had of treating a bike like a car and requiring other fees the tax will be ok. How about taxing only adult road bikes? Mountain bikes are made for trails not roads and seldom use them. Kid bikes should not be taxed. If we are only paying for services that we use, why do I pay for public schools?

Chris Harmon - Reply

No, it would be a BRILLIANT idea. Provided we start charging cars and heavy SUVs for the damage they do to the road. A bike/person at a hypothetical 350 lbs does .00006 the amount of road damage as a car, with an average car rated as 1.0. A Tahoe does 3.57X the damage of an average car. So the Tahoe does 59,500X the damage of a bike. So if we duplicate the $15 tax like Oregon, we would need to charge the Tahoe owner $892,500 at time of purchase. PERFECT!


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