Skip to comments.Now They've Done It: A Sin Tax on...Bikes
Posted on 03/08/2013 5:22:06 PM PST by Kaslin
Well, it took longer than I thought, but a government has finally out-greened itself. In the great state of Washington, the legislature wants to tax… wait for it …breathing.
“Holy exhalations!” you say, “Is it true?”
Yes old chum, I’m afraid it is. It would appear the folks on Washington’s equivalent of a capitol hill have come up with a transportation package that tabs out at 10 billion clams, which is a lot, even for a coastal state. Okay, that was a lousy play on words. MOVING ON THEN…
Actually $10 billion is a lot of money, even in a day and age in which the national debt probably increased by that much in the time it has taken me to put the period at the end of this sentence.
So from where will all these dollars flow? Well, from a gasoline tax naturally. Anymore you can’t have a left-wing state without a gasoline tax on all of those icky carbon spewing vehicles. C’mon, you should have been able to guess that one on your own!
But according to a handy flyer provided by the Seattle Times, a gas tax is only part of the plan. There is also an increase in the commercial gross weight fee, a Motor Vehicle Excise Tax, a Hazardous Substance Tax, two bonds (“Bond” is a nice word for “taxes”, by the way.) and… drumroll please…a $25 tax on bicycles that cost more than $500. The legislators in Washington figure that should garner about a million bucks for roads.
Yup, Washington State wants to tax bikes. The legislature there want to tax gas saving, non-polluting bikes powered by the human machine that emits no disgusting substances to befoul the air. You might be tempted to say “Hey, bicyclists use the road, they ought to pick up at least some of the tab.” And you would be right. But according to one legislator, it is the amount of carbon exhaled by cyclists that merit them getting hit with this tax. And imagine my chagrin when I discovered it was a Republican spouting this bit of nonsense. In an article on The Examiner website by Mikael Thalen, GOP State Representative Ed Orcutt is quoted as saying: “A cyclists [sic] has an increased heart rate and respiration. That means that the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider. Since CO2 is deemed to be a greenhouse gas and a pollutant, bicyclists are actually polluting when they ride."
Insert laugh track here.
So, a Washington Republican finally succeeded where Jacque Cousteau, Sir David Attenborough, England’s Prince Phillip, and Ted Turner could not- he has pinned climate change onHomo sapiens. And apparently also on his semi-high-end bike.
I know folks who eschew cars for bikes because of the cost and because they want to lessen their personal carbon footprint. That’s fine, do as thou wilt, oh pilgrim. They are put out by motorists who don’t give them the space they need, or call them “dirty hippies” as they drive by. Conversely, I know motorists who are annoyed by what they perceive to be an elitist attitude by cyclists, who seem intent on making themselves a nuisance on streets and roads. That’s a debate for another time. (Personally, I just wish they would not ride so close to the white line on the side of the road. I always think they are going to swing out into traffic.)
What is germane to this discussion is that bicycles have at best a barely discernible impact on roads. That, and in this case we are essentially talking about what amounts to BREATHING TAX. The problem with that is breathing is one of those things everyone does. Unless you are a fetus, a corpse or an astronaut, you are at this moment inhaling and exhaling; and apparently inflicting damage on the atmosphere.
A story goes that Mark Twain was once trapped by a bore who lectured him at length on the Great Hereafter. The man said to Twain: “Do you realize that every time I exhale some poor soul departs this world?” Twain is reported to have replied “Really? Have you tried chewing cloves?”
Apparently for the elected officials of the Evergreen State, chewing cloves will not suffice.
They feel it is time to tax people simply for existing.
Oooo! I’m sending this on to the City Council in ‘The People’s Republik of Madistan.’
The Liberal heads that will be exploding will be ever-so-much FUN!
I’m not very familiar with bicycle prices, but I bet there will be a lot of them in Washington for $499.
Don’t do it, you’re just giving them new ideas.
This is not news. It's been their policy in just about every country where they come to power.
Any quality bicycle is going to be a minimum of $300 at a department store, and you probably cannot get a decent bike for anything less than $500 at an independent bike shop.
They want to tax you coming and going. The fact is that bicycle riders do pay for themselves when they ride bikes, because they are not incurring any costs to society, forvthe most part.
...and how on earth is the government going to know what you paid for a bike unless... why of course... they’ll have to mandate registration and licensing of bikes like cars. Voila! More taxes! Yay!!!
Insert Seattle joke here ----->
This is being pushed by a Republican in a snarky effort to humiliate Democrats.
“.....it is the amount of carbon exhaled by cyclists that merit them getting hit with this tax.”
Shouldn’t fast walkers also pay a breathing tax.
All that yelling at sporting events... there is some more money!
I suspect that 20 year olds have greater emissions of carbon dioxide during longer lovemaking sessions.
You’re right it is. The question though is: Will they get it? Liberals are not that smart with their pea-sized brains
Was pulled back and the guy apologized for his statement.
I think you are correct. That’s exactly how I interpreted the action as well.
TRUE! It was a tongue in cheek comment made by conservative Ed Orcutt and the media (dumb as it is) took it wrong.
The irony is that the left loves bicycles, but they also love taxes and many see cyclists as using the roads for free.
The other irony is that while he was poking fun at global warming they all missed the point of regulation CO2.
Demonstrating absurdity by being absurd....Rush would be proud.
If you car drivers were more careful, you wouldn’t need bike lanes. :)
And if bicyclists actually obeyed traffic laws, they wouldn’t get plastered so often. Don’t even try to deny this, I work on a transportation choke point that is very popular with bicyclists. I see them blowing through red lights, stop signs, blocking traffic by riding 3-4 abreast, ignoring signs directly giving them instructions, etc... One of the greatest days I had at work was when a bicycle club was doing a ride with hundreds of militant spandex clad two wheeled fudds. A county Sheriff’s deputy was returning to town from a call and got blocked by militant two wheelers in a curvy road. He waited until a safe stretch and cited every one of them for impeding traffic. The schadenfreude was delicious listening to those metrosexual he/she’s whine about being cited.
99% of bicyclists give the others a bad name. How many stop signs and red lights do you blow through because of your clip shoes? They should have GPS trackers and be charged by the lane mile to maintain their access to roads funded by dedicated gas taxes.
True, if you are talking about the spandex wearing exhibitionists who ride in packs.
Not true, if you are talking about the occasional single rider just trying to get from point A to point B safely. Been there, done that. Too many motorists treat us all like the pack jerks even if we obey the rules of the road, ride single file and don't crowd the center line. Worst offense is that that they try to run us off the road even when there is plenty of room to pass.