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  1. #1
    Senior Member Nycycle's Avatar
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    Should Bicycles be Registered

    Talking with the Utah DOT and local Politician's about why roads here are not more Bicycle friendly.
    I get one answer, money. Roads are paid for by gasoline taxes and registration fee's.
    In fact a new law adds $100 per year to the registration costs of electric or bi-fuel cars, just because they do not pay at the pump.

    Would we be better off, if we had to register bicycles?
    I hate cars,

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    And, don't forget that your other taxes also get rolled into road and construction fees.........................

    And, your vote pays the pollyticians......................

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    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    You should tell Utah DOT that they aren't fooling anyone.

    Utah gets more road funding than it contributes
    SALT LAKE CITY — Utah motorists are getting a pretty good bargain for the roads they drive on, a new report shows.According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, from 2005 to 2009, every state in the country received more funding for highway programs than they contributed to the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund.
    - KSL News

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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
    You should tell Utah DOT that they aren't fooling anyone.

    Utah gets more road funding than it contributes - KSL News
    My state has the same issue, but it has to return the money it could not use, since the returned money was not enough fund certain motorized road projects from study to completion. There has been as of late, an effort to keep a portion of that money destined to be returned, diverting it to smaller non motorized projects that are considerably less in cost and time spent from study to completion.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nycycle View Post
    Talking with the Utah DOT and local Politician's about why roads here are not more Bicycle friendly.
    I get one answer, money. Roads are paid for by gasoline taxes and registration fee's.
    In fact a new law adds $100 per year to the registration costs of electric or bi-fuel cars, just because they do not pay at the pump.

    Would we be better off, if we had to register bicycles?
    Fungible | Define Fungible at Dictionary.com

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    Where will it stop? Do we register skate boards, roller blades too? Unicycles? Shoes?

  8. #8
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    I guarantee you any such plan would have low compliance, no enforcement and cost far more to administer than it would collect. It would simply be throwing away public money for the illusion of fairness. Though that hasn't stopped a plethora of what I like to call spite laws from being passed across the US covering a variety of issues.

  9. #9
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    As I understand it, bicycle registration has been tried and abandoned in many jurisdictions because the logistics were just impossible.

  10. #10
    genec genec's Avatar
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    We should register bikes just like we register shoes...

  11. #11
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nycycle View Post
    Talking with the Utah DOT and local Politician's about why roads here are not more Bicycle friendly.
    I get one answer, money. Roads are paid for by gasoline taxes and registration fee's.
    In fact a new law adds $100 per year to the registration costs of electric or bi-fuel cars, just because they do not pay at the pump.

    Would we be better off, if we had to register bicycles?
    The trouble with bicycles is that they cover the range from this



    to this




    If registration is universally required, who is going to stop 5-year-old Poppy and tell her she has to pay a fine because her bicycle isn't showing the correct tags? If registration is age-dependent, who is going to figure out whether "Keith" is really 15 (in which case he doesn't need tags) or 16 (in which case he does). It should be no surprise that he claims to be 15, but of course he doesn't have any ID because he's not old enough to have a driver's license. Or maybe he is and just claims not to be.

    Unless bike registration carries a punitive cost relative to the bike it's not going to raise enough money to be worth the administration, and if it does carry a punitive cost the chances are there will just be huge levels of non-compliance. A bike isn't big enough to carry a numberplate like a motor vehicle so it's hard to see how you'd know whether a bike was registered or not.

    That's before you consider the fact that the wear/damage caused by a bicycle to the road is such a tiny fraction of what a truck would cause the only way charges could be fair would be for them to be very small, which goes back to the issue of why a system that costs more to administer than it raises would help anybody.
    "For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"

  12. #12
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nycycle View Post
    Talking with the Utah DOT and local Politician's about why roads here are not more Bicycle friendly.
    I get one answer, money. Roads are paid for by gasoline taxes and registration fee's.
    In fact a new law adds $100 per year to the registration costs of electric or bi-fuel cars, just because they do not pay at the pump.

    Would we be better off, if we had to register bicycles?

    Big, fat "NO" to bike reg fees for more reasons than BF's servers could handle, byte-wise
    Also, the politician(s) who spoke to you about gas taxes, etc, is using the same easy but totally incorrect excuse to further this agenda that all auto-jihadists use, everywhere. Road money comes from lots of different places, not just the pump and reg fees. If you want a quick, concise answer to how roads get paid for, go to a county budget meeting or sit in on one where a developer sells his latest bourgeois 'community' to the various boards and officials in charge of OK'ing it. Listen for the words "ingress", "egress" and listen to who will get stuck with the road construction and maintenance fees, later. We are already paying plenty of taxes and a disproportionate amount even if only going by our numbers and wear n tear we cause the roads. Car culture has been one of the hugest welfare sucks of our time. We should not have any more of the costs of maintaining that culture and mindset put on us, then what we suffer now. Enough's enough!

  13. #13
    Senior Member walrus1's Avatar
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    For the hundredth millionth time "NO!" Got it? once more for emphasis "No!"

  14. #14
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    I registered my bike, when I moved back to Maryland in 2007. But I didn't register my bike for the purpose of getting respect from motorists', and politicians. I registered my bike for the chance that it might be stolen. But the indirect problem is, even after a bike is registered. If it is stolen in another local jurisdiction, and there is no records' transparency from one jurisdiction to the next. Then you have to do all the legwork yourself to get your bike back.

  15. #15
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    ONE: register all bikes - which means identifying each and everyone, using manufacturer, model, colour and bike serial number (you know, the ones which are particularly vulnerable to rust and accident damage, unlike the Vehicle Identification Number found in motor vehicle engine compartments

    TWO: double the size fo your state vehicle taxation/registration dept., since there will be as many bikes as mvs (probably) in the state (taxpayers will, of course, love this)

    THREE: Design number plates suitable for each type of bike

    FOUR: Pass legislation controlling where on bike no. plate should be placed (after report by technical experts on visibility, position, letter/no. size, etc.)

    FIVE: Pass laws designating specific punishments for specific infractions regarding non-registration, non-standard no.plate installation, failure to maintain bike serial no. in a readable condition, etc.

    SIX: train police and legal staff on said laws and encourage them to go after cycling miscreants - it would give them something to do in their copious spare time

    SEVEN: Did I mention out-of-state cyclists for whom the law would not apply?

    EIGHT: Decide on suitable registraion fee - it would have to cover the cost of admninistering the scheme - which would be pretty much the same as that for mvs. Let us say that, for the sake of argument, the mv administration cost is $5 per application. Making suitable contribution to highway building and maintenance on top of that (in relation to the amount of money spent on specific cycling infrastructure and/or damage done to said infrastructure by bikes). How many bikes do you have - 2, 3, 4, 5? Therefore bike registration will be n x $x I'm sure that riders in Utah will be delighted to participate.

    Etc., etc., etc.

    It....will....not.... work

  16. #16
    Senior Member yote223's Avatar
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    I can't even believe that this is being discussed!!! NO NO NO !!!

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nycycle View Post
    Talking with the Utah DOT and local Politician's about why roads here are not more Bicycle friendly.
    I get one answer, money. Roads are paid for by gasoline taxes and registration fee's.
    In fact a new law adds $100 per year to the registration costs of electric or bi-fuel cars, just because they do not pay at the pump.

    Would we be better off, if we had to register bicycles?
    First of all, this starts with a false premise, namely that roads are paid for with fuel taxes. That's only partly true. Most state fund roads mainly form general revenue (not counting any federal contribution).

    Then if we consider the impact of bicycles on the infrastructure, our fair share would be minimal. While in principal, I wouldn't mind making some sort of contribution to the roads, any effort to collect and enforce a fair bicycle fee would cost more to manage than it would bring in.

    If we want to tax bicycles, a more logical way to do it would be through an excise tax collected on imports, which are the great majority of bicycles sold. Taxing $20.00 at the POE on all bicycles with wheels 26" or larger would generate upwards of $100M with little cost of collection and management.
    FB
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  18. #18
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    If roads are paid for from fuel taxes alone it's a fair point. Assuming there isn't a team of bean counters somewhere making sure that only some forms of tax get ring-fenced for roads it's probably safe to say they are funded from taxation in general. So a cyclist who stops and buys a cake will pay some form of sales taxes, probably in proportion to the damage their bike causes. Cyclists who rack up large mileages will buy more cereal bars and jelly babies, so pay more in taxes to fund the damage they cause to the roads.

    Seems perfectly fair to me.
    "For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    If we want to tax bicycles, a more logical way to do it would be through an excise tax collected on imports, which are the great majority of bicycles sold. Taxing $20.00 at the POE on all bicycles with wheels 26" or larger would generate upwards of $100M with little cost of collection and management.
    Once again, the voice of reason,

    I'm adamantly against registration, But I wouldn't be opposed to a federal excise and/or state sales tax on bikes and tires if the funds were used only for bicycle infrastructure.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    .... if the funds were used only for bicycle infrastructure.
    I never insist on reserved funds. The reality is that there is already spending on bike infrastructure, so based on history, I'd expect that any new dollars reserved for bike infrastructure would be offset by reductions in funding from other sources.

    Taxation and spending are like a massive BYOB party. Everyone brings, and everyone drinks, but it's bad form to look too closely at who brought what or or what they drink.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I never insist on reserved funds. The reality is that there is already spending on bike infrastructure, so based on history, I'd expect that any new dollars reserved for bike infrastructure would be offset by reductions in funding from other sources.

    Taxation and spending are like a massive BYOB party. Everyone brings, and everyone drinks, but it's bad form to look too closely at who brought what or or what they drink.
    I agree with that for the most part, but if we want more communities to do like bike friendly communities such as Seattle do, to be willing to invest more than current demand requires for future generations, wouldn't it be wise to contribute to that expense in this era of budget cuts?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    I agree with that for the most part, but if we want more communities to do like bike friendly communities such as Seattle do, to be willing to invest more than current demand requires for future generations, wouldn't it be wise to contribute to that expense in this era of budget cuts?
    I don't have a problem with that. (though I'm not in agreement with what most people think makes cities bike friendly) I just don't like the "I paid this for that" approach. It's like bringing a good scotch to he party and saying that those who brought cheap wines can't have any.

    For my part, I'd just as soon be rid of all the nickle and dime taxes, and have only straightforward broad based taxes flowing into a general fund, from which the needs of the community are financed. As it is now, nobody knows what the total taxes collected are, who pays what, and where it goes.

    Having a population that doesn't know how services are financed is a bad recipe for running a republic.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    Once again, the voice of reason,

    I'm adamantly against registration, But I wouldn't be opposed to a federal excise and/or state sales tax on bikes and tires if the funds were used only for bicycle infrastructure.
    Still seems counter-productive. If bicycling is seen as producing some net public benefits in the form of a healthier populace, reduced pollution, less traffic congestion, etc. then if anything there should be public incentives to encourage more of it. Introducing an additional tax on it is then exactly the wrong thing to do since that is a disincentive. Seems more reasonable to increase taxes on activities that we want to discourage and use some of those funds for infrastructure that would encourage beneficial activities instead.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    Still seems counter-productive. .....
    It might be, and OTOH I don't know that a low excise tax would have a measurable negative impact.

    In any case, I'm not advocating for a tax, just saying that if public policy is to tax bicycles, an excise tax collected ta the POE is far more effective than a registration fee would be.

    Either way, as I said before, I'm opposed to nickle and dime taxation on small segments of the economy based on political correctness or conduct perceived to be good or bad. IMO selective taxation is a formula for Balkanization of our society, and we need only look at the countless examples of what happens when folks start dividing themselves into sub groups.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    No!

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