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Why not implement a bicycle license fee

GS Heating
Published:2010-03-09 Opinion
Why not implement a bicycle license fee    Print Snohomish Times     Photos
Why not implement a bicycle license fee

By Susan Packer

Here we sit with the economy in the toilet and a state legislature that can only come up with ways to tax what they are already taxing. The city of Snohomish has many ideas of creating pedestrian friendly streets including trails and bike lanes.

Many cities and counties around Washington State have plans to expand update or create new trails. Who pays for that? Are any of those ideas on the chopping block? If some of those ideas have already been approved what about taking them back?

It's not unlike an average family budgeting for the future; let's say that I authorized a $100 budget for a new coat for my son. Now let's say that while we were getting ready to purchase the coat we get a phone call that says our water heater is broken. With limited funds a person would be inclined to retract the budget amount for the new coat and possibly cancel it altogether.

Not in Washington State where the mantra is 'we can always get more money'.

What has happened to our leadership when they choose to ignore or discard what we the people have put into place? It is easy to see why when you look over the list of new taxes, we are not just filling a budget gap we are filling the coffers for new spending.

One item that comes to mind where millions and millions of dollars are being spent every year and that is bike trails. Now I don't want to debate whether they are good or bad or needed are not needed but let's face it, they are free to the people that use them the most.

Why not implement a bicycle license fee and generate the revenue needed to do those projects. Thus freeing up revenue for schools and low income families support. A bicycle license fee would not inhibit any reasonable person from being able to use their bike.

Many cities and states around the country do that very thing and generated needed revenue to support activities and projects that support bicycles.

A user fee impacts the user, if you choose not to use it, you are out nothing.

List of Revenue Increases for the State:

Repeal of First Mortgage Deductions, Nutrient Management (Five Year Suspension, 10 Year Sunset), Repeal of Out-of-State Sales Tax Exemption, Airplanes like Boats (JLARC recommendation - 0.5% excise tax), Use Tax on Vehicles Used for Interstate Hauls, Foreclosure Exemption, Corporate Officer Liability for Tax Debts, Agrilink Fix, Cigarette tax increase of $1 per pack, Bottled water, B&O tax rate for lawyers, accountants, agents, Repealing exemption on investment earnings, Convention Center Tax Recovery, limit the exemption to renewable projects that generate electricity for Washington customers, PUD privilege tax, and capital budget transfers.

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