Bike tax

The Washington State Legislature is has a descent new transportation bill in the works, but it includes a strange little $25 tax on bikes over $500. I wrote my legislator, who happens to be vice chair of the transportation committee, the following letter,

Rep. Luis Moscoso,

I would support the proposed taxation on bikes in the new transportation bill (currently proposed as a $25 flat tax on bikes over $500), but only if an equivalent tax is placed on cars. Given that vehicle weight is proportional to road wear, this suggests that a $25 tax on a 25 pound road bike would be equivalent to a $3500 tax on a small car weighing 3500 pounds. I suggest amending the proposal to taxing the purchase of *all* new road vehicles (cars, bikes, trucks) costing more than $500 at a rate of $1 per pound. That is the fair and equitable thing to do.

Despite an existing taxation on gasolines, this does not amount to dual taxation on car users, as the gasoline tax can be thought of as a carbon tax.

Thanks for your time,
Jeffrey J. Early, Ph.D.

Imagine the money we’d get if we taxed cars at the same rate as bikes in this proposal—it’d be fantastic!