I am outraged! Hang on to your wallets, folks. Oregon's state legislature won’t be happy until they have every last penny they can get! The latest proposed grab comes from Rep. Wayne Krieger, R-Gold Beach. His house bill 3008 proposes a $27 annual registration fee for bicycles. I’ll be paying $81 per year to license the three bikes I own! And what about my bike trailer. I suppose they will want me to register that as well. YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING!
The administrative costs associated with this new program will actually cost MORE than what is expected to be raised! In other words, this law will USE MONEY THAT COULD BE USED FOR ROADS on the administration expenses of a bike registration program while doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to improve bike safety.
This is NOT the time for the State of Oregon to charge a new tax or fee that will discourage the use of bicycles. Childhood obesity is skyrocketing. As a nation, we are importing more foreign oil than ever. How will people within our community that can’t afford to drive a car be able to afford to ride their bike?
The arguments I’ve heard to support this fee are ridiculous! Rep. Krieger claims that this law would help law enforcement officials return stolen bikes to their rightful owner. Bikes already have serial numbers, and it’s the responsibility of bike owners to be prepared to give this information to law enforcement agencies if their bike is lost or stolen. I don’t think we need another layer of government to process bicycle serial numbers.
Rep. Krieger had the gall to say that it’s about time that bicycle users should start paying for roads. I’ve been a home owner and an automobile owner for well over 30 years. I PAY PROPERTY TAXES AND GAS TAXES! In fact, I don’t know a single other bike rider that doesn’t pay property taxes and gas taxes! Even though I’m currently renting and I don’t directly pay property taxes, you can be assured that the money used to pay the property taxes of the house I’m renting here in Sisters comes from the amount I pay in rent each month! If I wasn’t paying the rent, where would the money come from to pay the property taxes?
Law enforcement officers have more important things to do than stopping bikes to check for registration! For example, they could be watching out for cell phone use while driving, or worse, texting while driving! These distracted drivers are often driving faster than the posted speed and often never see cyclists, let alone other cars! I’d gladly pay the proposed registration fee if it really was going to make riding a bike safer, or it would be used to encourage the use of bikes, especially with kids, but this poorly written proposal is not the answer!
Please contact your state representative by phone, fax or e-mail and let them know how you feel regarding house bill 3008.
District 53: Rep. Gene Whisnant (R)
900 Court Street NE
Salem, OR 97301-4051
Phone: (503) 986-1453
Fax: (503) 986-1561
District 54: Rep. Judy Stiegler (D)
900 Court Street NE
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: (503) 986-1417
Fax: (503) 986-1896