I just read this piece of news posted on Cyclelicious about a state representative who wants to require all Iowa bike shops to collect a five dollar per new bike sold tax! The reason given was that hunters, fishers, and snowmobile/ ATV users have to pay a fee that goes into a fund to maintain natural resources for their activities, so why don't bicyclists have to do the same?
Well, I see several problems with this legislation, as proposed. First, there was something mentioned that the tax might be proportional to the heigth of the bicycle! Ludicriss! I mean, can you imagine what everyone is going to do then? "Yeah, I'm 6'2" and I want a 13" bicycle. So what?!!" Yeah, like THAT'LL work! Then there is the "WalMart" problem. In the legislation proposed, bikes for children are exempt from the tax. What do you suppose WalMart, et all are going to say there bikes are for? Yup! They are all for kids! No tax. Even if your 95 andwant to ride a bike, you just say it's for your great grand kids and out the door you go. And the local bike shop...........yeah! They are the tax collectors in this scenario. NO ONE likes a tax collector, well.....except Jesus! He at least made one an deciple! Anyway.................. You can imagine how everyone purchasing a new bike is going to want an instant five dollars off, because they don't want to pay that tax! Brilliant!
You see, the other user groups have a major difference from cyclists. The one thing that drives 'em nuts is that we as cyclists are free! Free from having to pay for what we love to do! Think about it. You want to fish? Pay for a license! Want to shoot Bambi? Yup! Pay for a license! Gonna pilot yer boat, snowmobile, or ATV? License please! So, we are distinct in that we can run out our front door and ride......without paying to do it.......legally!
But what about maintenance for your bicycle trails? Hmmmm....? Yeah, good question. Make sure you ask all the pedestrians, runners, snowmobilers, roller bladers, and cross country skiers the same question, okay? I mean, are we going to charge an extra five bones to anyone that buys a pair of running shoes, roller blades, or dog leashes? Or, are we going to ban all users outside of cyclists from using the paved trail systems in our state? Try doing that! Yeah, that'll work, too!
Here's an idea. Many of these trails are built using money from the collection of taxes and government grants in conjunction with highway projects. How about setting a little aside from taxes all ready being collected to be used only for trail maintenance? The fund could be monitered by the state and municipalities could apply for monies to make repairs as necessary.
Either that, or we could make ALL bicyclists buy a yearly license. Just like rollerbladers, dog walkers, joggers, cross country skiers, and pedestrians that use the trail systems would start doing. Riggggghhhhhht!
Excuse me, sir! Taxman here! ................
Let me tell you how it will be.
There's one for you, nineteen for me.
'Cause I'm the Tax Man!
Yeah, I'm the Tax Man