Should Colorado have a bicycle tax? Opinions from The Denver Post

Denver has plans to dramatically increase bicycle access and lanes downtown. To help fund these projects, Republican state Sen. Ray Scott recently floated a controversial proposal to tax bicycles to help pay for Colorado’s infrastructure needs. Here are the opinions of a few readers…

From The Denver Post

Two B-Cycle riders cross 17th Street as they ride along Lawrence Street with a view of Denver’s Union Station in the background on Friday, April 3, 2015. (Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post )

Re: “Why not tax the bicyclists? Share the road, share the tax,” July 20 editorial.

Your editorial asks: “Why not tax the bicyclists?” The simple answer is that an extra tax on bikes will hurt, not help, solve Colorado’s transportation needs.

Unlike the example from Oregon, every bicycle purchased in Colorado already incurs sales tax, which contributes to paying for our roads just like cars, trucks and motorcycles.

Colorado’s mom-and-pop retailers are already under pressure from out-of-state online sales. Adding an additional tax only on Colorado purchases hurts local businesses and sends more money to out-of-state companies, which is the opposite of what we need.

Bike trips instead of motor vehicle trips save wear and tear on our roads. We should be encouraging active transportation options, not penalizing them. Let’s work together to identify a long-term transportation solution for Colorado. Adding an extra tax on bikes is a step in the wrong direction.

Dan Grunig, Denver

The writer is executive director of Bicycle Colorado.

As a bicyclist of amateur status, I find the idea of taxing bicyclists to be decidedly punitive and wholly unwarranted. Call such a tax for what it is: a resentment tax aimed at punishing bikers for using a non-polluting, asphalt-sparing, clean-energy alternative to driving a car and for our feeling pretty good about that.

Most bicyclists own cars, pay property taxes and otherwise provide money that pays for roads, so no additional tax is necessary. Bikes also don’t damage road infrastructure or increase global warming as your car does. And for that reason alone, you should be thanking bicyclists for being environmentally friendly and perhaps making available a parking space for the car you drove to work today.

Susan Altenhofen, Fort Collins

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