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Oregon retailers try to fend off proposed tax on new bikes

Published June 7, 2017

SALEM, Ore. (BRAIN) — Bike retailers in Oregon are being urged to contact state lawmakers over a proposed 3 to 5 percent tax on new bikes retailing for more than $500. The tax proposal is part of statewide transportation funding package.

PeopleForBikes is reaching out to Oregon IBDs to ask them to contact their state representatives and members of the Joint Committee on Transportation.

"While we support increased investments in infrastructure, the proposed bike tax is an inefficient way to raise new revenue," PeopleForBikes said in a letter to Oregon shops this week. "The bicycle tax will unfairly target locally owned bike shops and will not result in meaningful contributions to Oregon's bike infrastructure. Lawmakers may advance the bill this week, so we need you to weigh in now."

PeopleForBikes has instructions to help retailers contact their state representatives on the organization's website.

Public hearings are planned for the transportation bill this week. The proposal calls for the bike excise tax to be imposed on bikes with 26-inch or larger wheels. 

Some cyclists and bicycle organizations in Oregon are of mixed opinion on the bill, which contains investments in road infrastructure, safe routes to schools, and public transportation. The Oregon Environmental Council said the bill makes "a small nod" toward improved biking and walking facilities and said the proposed bike tax is "frustrating."

According to Bike Portland, about 20 Oregon-based bike business owners and employees are sending a joint letter to legislators this week to oppose the tax.



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