The Seattle Times calls a proposed $25 tax on new bicycle purchases in Washington state “symbolic.”
There’s even a $25 sales fee on bicycles worth $500 or more that raises a total $1 million over 10 years, included for largely symbolic reasons.
This bike tax is included in a proposal by state House Democrats to sharply raise gas taxes and car registration fees to raise $10 billion for transportation projects. A supermajority vote is required to pass any kind of tax measure in Washington due to Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1185, which (paradoxically) passed with 63.9% voting “Yes” (i.e. fewer than a 2/3 vote).
Although the proposed bike tax will be just a drop in the bucket for Washington’s billions of dollars in transportation projects, it can pack a wollop for the individual consumer and small business owner. A $25 tax is 4% of the value of an entry level $600 bicycle. Compare that against the 0.3% excise tax on new car and truck purchases. Both are on top of the 6.5% state sales tax and whatever local sales taxes that might apply. That’s a full magnitude of difference. The proposed $25 tax applies only to bikes sold for over $500.
This thing will be bogged down by politics as the Republic-controlled Senate will introduce their own transportation bill so I won’t get too excited about this proposed bike tax.
- Biking Bis: ‘Symbolic’ $25 sales fee on bicycles in Washington state is pointless.
- Cascade Bicycle Club: Draft transportation plan includes bicycle tax.
- Bike Portland: “Symbolic” bike tax proposed in Washington should sound familiar.