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  1. #1
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Chicago proposed bike fees:

    "The Netherlands...had bike taxes from 1924 to 1941, when the Nazis did away with it..."


    "http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/12/27/as-city-cycling-grows-so-does-bike-tax-temptation/"

  2. #2
    Senior Member Chicago Al's Avatar
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    That's actually not a bad article, despite being on that site. Oh, right, it's actually from the AP. And despite the misleading header here...shame on you, Looigi. One would think you were agitating and trying to spark controversy here in the placid fields of A&S, where we are, as usual, basking in good fellowship and mutual respect.

    The supposed Chicago bike fee proposal was a single, new alderman speaking off the cuff and apparently out her, well never mind. It was never even proposed to the city council. As the article notes, her idea (?) "...sputtered out after the city responded with a collective "Say what?"
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  3. #3
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    "The Netherlands...had bike taxes from 1924 to 1941, when the Nazis did away with it..."


    "http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/12/27/as-city-cycling-grows-so-does-bike-tax-temptation/"
    That is not something I want to be thankful for.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Yeah. I had second thoughts about that quote, but when I first read the article the multiple ironies gave me a chuckle.

  5. #5
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    "You know who also didn't tax bicycles? HITLER!"

    Classic guilt by asosication as an ad hominem fallacy.

  6. #6
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    I want them to. Then I want them to stop EVERY rider on a DIVVY, every rider on a rental from Navy Pier, every rider in from the burbs, and every rider they can. Then we can read about the homicide rates increasing again because the police force is running around catching cyclists without their $25 rider-pass (that's essentially what it is) versus keeping a presence in the bad areas. I know Rahmmy said he wouldn't have the police doing that, but we all know there is money in there. And we know the chasing of cyclists would be led by the Tribs John Kass....because he loves the cycling community.

    I wouldn't get one anyway unless it was going towards cycling infrastructure and not to plug a hole so they can pay out pensions and continue to misuse TIF monies.

    Plus it would never happen, Rahm would lose those voters. And we all know the squeeky wheel get the grease, and the cycling community is pretty vocal.
    Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....

  7. #7
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
    "You know who also didn't tax bicycles? HITLER!"

    Classic guilt by asosication as an ad hominem fallacy.
    *chuckle*

    Go over to the Addiction thread and just mention Fox News in a completely neutral context and see what happens

    The point I took from that passage is that taxing cyclists is not a new idea, as the Dutch did it in the 1930s.

    If cities are going to pony up for cycling infrastructure, is it not reasonable to expect the end-users to bear at least some of the costs?

    I think we would all agree that if all the city did was paint sharrows, we ain't coughing it up for that.

  8. #8
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Remember, Mike, that this is Chicago we are talking about ------ mis use money??????? LOL

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  9. #9
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
    If cities are going to pony up for cycling infrastructure, is it not reasonable to expect the end-users to bear at least some of the costs?
    I think we would all agree that if all the city did was paint sharrows, we ain't coughing it up for that.
    I would pay if, as you said, the money went into promoting and creating safer (term used loosely) cycling infrastructure. Then heck, I'd pay $100. I love the city, especially on a bike, I can't stand our corrupt politicians.



    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    Remember, Mike, that this is Chicago we are talking about ------ mis use money??????? LOL
    We could look at it as they can't misuse it if they don't touch it.....with a $339 million budget hole, the money is already spent, so no misuse there! HA!
    Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....

  10. #10
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    So the argument is "cyclists are getting a free ride, using up our streets and not paying for it, they need to be taxed!" Well, pedestrians are also getting a free ride, they walk the side walks and cross the streets so they are a bunch of free loaders too, right? In fact, there are scores more pedestrians than cyclists, so their impact is much larger than cyclists. Yet you don't hear the "tax the cyclists" morons calling for a pedestrian tax. I wonder why.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member CrankyOne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
    So the argument is "cyclists are getting a free ride, using up our streets and not paying for it, they need to be taxed!" Well, pedestrians are also getting a free ride, ...
    Uh, the bulk of local streets are paid for out of general funds so in reality people driving cars are subsidized (sometimes quite heavily) by people walking and riding bikes.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
    So the argument is "cyclists are getting a free ride, using up our streets and not paying for it, they need to be taxed!"
    No. I don't think so. I think the argument was clearly cyclist aren't being controlled enough. In a society where the population feels smothered in regulation and impoverished through taxation.... it's only natural for some to want to "spread the pain around". As the wealth of the working is confiscated by taxation shouldn't everyone feel the pinch?

    Many in government no longer consider a persons earnings as their own. But instead.... see individual wealth as allowed, or excepted, from government control. I've seen arguments on TV where liberal's (?) would point out that untaxed wealth was often just wasted on things like art and other home decorations.

    I think (a handful of) law makers are saying: If you can afford a high-end bicycle.... you aren't paying enough in taxes.

  13. #13
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    No. I don't think so. I think the argument was clearly cyclist aren't being controlled enough. In a society where the population feels smothered in regulation and impoverished through taxation.... it's only natural for some to want to "spread the pain around". As the wealth of the working is confiscated by taxation shouldn't everyone feel the pinch?

    Many in government no longer consider a persons earnings as their own. But instead.... see individual wealth as allowed, or excepted, from government control. I've seen arguments on TV where liberal's (?) would point out that untaxed wealth was often just wasted on things like art and other home decorations.

    I think (a handful of) law makers are saying: If you can afford a high-end bicycle.... you aren't paying enough in taxes.

    It almost sounds like you are from Chicago....almost. Because if you saw some of the wrecks and relics ridden on the streets of Chicago, you'd know most couldn't afford the $25. Or wouldn't pay it because it wouldn't be cool too. I wonder if the funds were to totally go to improving cycling needs in Chicago if the other riders would pay?
    Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
    *chuckle*

    Go over to the Addiction thread and just mention Fox News in a completely neutral context and see what happens

    The point I took from that passage is that taxing cyclists is not a new idea, as the Dutch did it in the 1930s.

    If cities are going to pony up for cycling infrastructure, is it not reasonable to expect the end-users to bear at least some of the costs?

    I think we would all agree that if all the city did was paint sharrows, we ain't coughing it up for that.
    What about all them smart book-readin' people? Shouldn't they have to pay more to use the library? Those big, thick books with not many pictures cost a lot of money! I never read them, so I shouldn't have my taxes go to that. (imagine a sarcasm emoticon here)

  15. #15
    Senior Member RolandArthur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
    "You know who also didn't tax bicycles? HITLER!"

    Classic guilt by asosication as an ad hominem fallacy.
    That is your interpretation, and perhaps that of a lot of other people. May I suggest: Taxing bicycles is wrong, only the sickest minds could come up with such an evil plan. Even Adolf Hitler would not go that far.
    Last edited by RolandArthur; 12-30-13 at 09:56 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Chicago Al's Avatar
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    Is it really asking too much for people to actually read the article?

    Here are some quotes for those who can't be bothered to click that link:

    It's not a new idea. The Netherlands, where a cycling lifestyle has long been the norm, had bike taxes from 1924 to 1941, when the Nazis did away with it in a gesture meant to win over the Dutch.

    So evidently the pre-war Nederlands government was 'the sickest minds.'

    In the case of Colorado Springs, the proposal came from the cycling community itself. The $4 tax on the purchase of new bikes has been in place since 1988, and no one seems to mind. It only raises up to $150,000 a year, but it's useful as a local match for federal grants. And it gives cycling advocates leverage when pushing for bike projects. For one thing, it has revealed that 25,000 bikes are sold each year, a big number in a city of 430,000.

    "The idea was to legitimize bicycles," explained Al Brody, a cycling enthusiast and retired Air Force officer who once coaxed a city councilwoman on a trek up Pikes Peak to lobby for opening up the mountain roadway to bicyclists. "It's in your face: We're paying taxes, this is how many bikes we're selling."

    So much for Dave Cutter's fevered dreams about this being a plot by 'liberals.'

    And so on.

    But this is A&S, where many posters have the remarkable ability to write...while apparently being unable to read.

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  17. #17
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Nothing more wrong about taxing bicycles than taxing anything else, IMO. I pay enough property tax on my house to buy a top end road bike every year. Of course taxation, for the purposes of raising revenues and paying for services is one thing. Taxing (or allowing deductions) to control behavior is entirely another thing. In a fundamental sense, I'm for the former and against the latter.

  18. #18
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RolandArthur View Post
    That is your interpretation, and perhaps that of a lot of other people. May I suggest: Taxing bicycles is wrong, only the sickest minds could come up with such an evil plan. Even Adolf Hitler would not go that far.
    I was interpreting the Nazi invocation in context. (And yes, they said Nazis, not Hitler -- I was being a bit sarcastic with my response.)

    In context, it seems quite obvious that the author wasn't saying that "Taxing bicycles is wrong, only the sickest minds could come up with such an evil plan."

    One does not accidentally invoke the Nazis in a discussion of what should happen in the near future in 2013 unless we're talking about something directly related to WW2. So any such invocation is intentional, and invariably we're told that the Nazis took the position that opposed the author's position, and we're supposed to think "well, if the Nazis wouldn't do it/undid it, maybe it's a good idea".

    (I guess there could be some exceptions to this, such as writings by people who actually revered Hitler for like minded people, but such writings are extremely rare.)

  19. #19
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    The Colorado Springs head tax on new bicycles is far simpler to manage and collect at a lower cost than s license fee on bicycles would be. I don't know how they handle bicycles bought out of town, but $4.00 isn't enough to drive anyone to shop elsewhere to evade it.

    In general, I oppose all niche taxes, including and maybe especially ones that support so called trust funds. They might work in smaller communities, but not in larger cities.

    The notion that bicyclists don't pay their fair share is nonsense at any level, and to acknowledge it moves the debate to what "fair" is. As for spending on bicycle infrastructure, it's either good for the community as a whole, as is any infrastructure, or it's unnecessary and wasteful. The measure of whether infrastructure makes sense, is whether the city as a whole benefits, ie. through reduced congestion, or not. If it passes muster on that measure, it should be unded through general revenue. If not, funding through a trust fund doesn't make sense either.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member RolandArthur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
    I was interpreting the Nazi invocation in context. (And yes, they said Nazis, not Hitler -- I was being a bit sarcastic with my response.)
    [...]
    My comment was not to be taken too serious, I was just trying to be as ridiculous as the writer of the article. Weird Dutch humor I guess, my neighbor (who is from the US) told me it took him a long time to understand it.

    For Chicago Al: Even though my comment was not very serious, there is a bit of truth in it. Many employees of the Dutch government had very little trouble working for the nazi´s. They were actually very good at it, that´s why the Netherlands were able to ¨supply¨ the concentration camps so well compared to other countries. At a certain point the leader of the sicherheitsdienst, Karl Eberhard Schöngarth, stopped actions of the Dutch SS because even he thought it was getting to bad. What does that tell you about those Dutch government employees?


  21. #21
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    It is just that Chicago is so broke that they will try anything that will bring in more money.

    When it come to taxing or buy a license for a bike, cant you see some cop bringing in little Susie for riding her sidewalk bike without a license? With all the crime Chicago has the police there have better things to do than cuff little Susie.

  22. #22
    Senior Member david58's Avatar
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    "What's mine is mine. Yours is negotiable."

    Bike fees stem from jealousy/envy - auto drivers that care, care because they are paying and the scofflaw cyclist is not. At least in their perception. I can't see how any $4 fee on bikes would ever be an income generator, if enforced, simply due to the cost of administration and enforcement. Fees like that are free money on your cable or phone bill, but on personal property items like bikes it would be a money loser at that level.
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  23. #23
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by david58 View Post
    "What's mine is mine. Yours is negotiable."

    Bike fees stem from jealousy/envy - auto drivers that care, care because they are paying and the scofflaw cyclist is not. At least in their perception. I can't see how any $4 fee on bikes would ever be an income generator, if enforced, simply due to the cost of administration and enforcement. Fees like that are free money on your cable or phone bill, but on personal property items like bikes it would be a money loser at that level.

    It wouldn't be $4 in Chicago, they are currently wanting $25 and many anti-bike advocates are calling for $100, or a bracketed amount based on either year or purchase price. Which is what they do with automobiles currently.
    Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chitown_Mike View Post
    It wouldn't be $4 in Chicago, they are currently wanting $25 and many anti-bike advocates are calling for $100, or a bracketed amount based on either year or purchase price. Which is what they do with automobiles currently.
    This becomes something like the old line about offering a woman $1,000,000 to sleep with you. If she agrees, then come back with a cash offer of $200, based on the idea that now you both know what she is, it's simply a negotiation about price.

    Before dickering about what would be a fair fee for bicycles, we must start by deciding if this kind of nuisance tax is good public policy in the first place.
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  25. #25
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chitown_Mike View Post
    It wouldn't be $4 in Chicago, they are currently wanting $25 and many anti-bike advocates are calling for $100, or a bracketed amount based on either year or purchase price. Which is what they do with automobiles currently.
    Who is/are the "they" in Chicago wanting $25 fees/tax on bicycles? Who are the "many anti-bike advocates" and where do they do their advocating? Or are you just hyper ventilating over a random comment on some obscure blog or letter to the editor from nobody in particular?

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