So says an elected official in Washington.
In response to an email from Dale Carlson, owner of Bike Tech – who is concerned about a new WA. bike tax – Washington State Rep. Ed Orcutt said – “… you claim that it is environmentally friendly to ride a bike. But if I am not mistaken, a cyclists 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.”
He goes on to say in the next paragraph “I know, you own a car and drive so are paying gas tax — but not while you are riding your bike.”
BTW – Orcutt from 20th District, Kalamais, is the ranking republican on the Transportation Committee – hence why Dale emailed him about a new bike tax.
HERE IS Rep Orcutt’s Reply to Dale
(Dale’s originating email to Rep Orcutt is below)
—————— Original Message ————
Subject: RE: No new bicycle tax
From: “Orcutt, Rep. Ed” <Ed.Orcutt@leg.wa.gov>
Date: Mon, February 25, 2013 9:59 pm
To: Dale Carlson
I am not a fan of much in the House Transportation tax proposal nor of many tax proposals, but I have to admit I think there are valid reasons to tax bicycles. Think about this for a moment: Currently motorists are paying to use their cars on the roads while they are actually driving their cars. At the same time, they are paying for bike lanes because there is no gas tax — or any transportation tax — generated by the act of riding a bike on the roadways. So, if cars pay for the roads they are using, it only makes sense that bicyclists would also be required to pay for the ‘roads’ they use when they are actually biking on them.
Also, you claim that it is environmentally friendly to ride a bike. But if I am not mistaken, a cyclists 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.
I know, you own a car and drive so are paying gas tax — but not while you are riding your bike. When you are driving your car and generating gas tax you are also driving on the roads so are only really paying for the roads when driving — not while biking.
Sorry, but I do think that bicyclists need to start paying for the roads they ride on rather than make motorists pay.
Representative Ed Orcutt
20th Legislative District
YEEE – HA DUDE ! Well – Rep Orcutt has now come out to say, in a carefully crafted statement –
“… I was over the top on that one…”
What do you think? Did reading that email make your heart rate go up? Are you breathing heavy? Weigh in – we’d love to hear what your thoughts are on this.
Will you be writing to Rep. Orcutt? Are you willing to pay a $25 extra tax on a $500 bike?
Do you agree with Dale at Bike Tech – about this new tax?
Below is the original message from Dale Carlson to Rep Orcutt.
From: Dale Carlson
Sent: Sunday, February 24, 2013 9:40 PM
To: Orcutt, Rep. Ed
Subject: NC: No new bicycle tax
HOUSE INTERNET E-MAIL DELIVERY SERVICE
TO: Representative Ed Orcutt
FROM: Dale Carlson(Non-Constituent)
SUBJECT: No new bicycle tax
People who choose to ride a bicycle instead of driving a car actively
reduce congestion, save wear and tear on our roads and bridges, and reduce the state labor needed to patrol our highways. Additionally, bicyclists produce fewer emissions and reduce healthcare costs through increased physical fitness. Therefore, it is unfair for bicyclists to subsidize the construction and maintenance of highways that they impact far less than the motorists. If anything, new bike purchases should earn a $25.00 tax credit because of the savings they provide to the state.
Not only do I believe that a bike tax is unfair in principle but the proposed amount is disproportionately large compared to vehicle excise taxes in the state. A tax of $25 on a $500 bicycle purchase is 5% of that sale. The vehicle excise tax in the proposed package for the state is 0.7%. The federal government even offers tax credits on electric vehicles, up to $7,500 depending on the value of the vehicle. It’s absurd that Washington state plans on taxing bicyclists while such a credit system exists to promote energy efficiency. Bicycles are far more efficient even than electric cars. Bicyclists already pay substantial sales, property, and federal taxes which fund two-thirds of transportation spending in Washington. Bicyclists who own cars pay the same license tab and other car-related taxes even if they drive less.
This new tax would also hurt the bicycle industry in the state of Washington, an industry that already competes with internet vendors and bordering states with lower sales tax. Bicycle stores near the edges of our state have been impacted for years by the reduced sales tax in Oregon and Idaho. Residents would have 25 more reasons to purchase bikes outside of Washington should this proposal pass. In-state bicycle sales would also be lost to internet vendors based elsewhere which neither pay taxes in Washington nor employee residents of Washington. Surely the loss of tax revenue on in-state bicycle sales would offset the forecasted gains from the proposed tax.
Dale Carlson, Owner
Olympia, Lakewood, Tacoma
Are you willing to wear a mask while biking – to keep your freak’n breath from ruining the planet? Could brushing your teeth more or using breath mints while riding – help save the planet?
Ask Rep Orcutt – he’s got all the answers – and all you do is breath heavy.
THANKS TO CASCADE BIKE CLUB BLOG for making sure we saw this !!
Pictures of the Mussels in the Kettles ride will be posted this week.