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Old 02-01-03, 04:04 PM   #1
detrieux
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N. Dakota considering a bicycle tax

I read on the Bicycle Advocacy that North Dakota is considering a bicycle tax in the amount of $50 for 2 years for all bikes ridden by adults with more than 2 speeds. This would mean that any one riding thru North Dakota would have to pay this tax or be fined $35. This is to be considered in February, 2003.

With the shortfall in Federal and State tax revenues, this could spread to other states. Any one else out there heard about this issue? Would you have to pay this for each bike? Talk about an excess tax if that is the case. I have 4 bikes that I ride through out the year on the road. If Ohio followed suit, I would pay more to license 3 bikes than to license 3 cars.

Would I have to buy a license for each State, if I decided to ride across country?
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Old 02-01-03, 04:45 PM   #2
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Your car taxes must be low A new car out here in california you would be easily $400 registeration for a cheap car.

As for the bicycle tax that is absolutely STUPID!!!!!! If you are using a bicycle for commuting.. running erands etc you should get a tax break at the end of the year for saving the environment etc..

Now how would they actualy enforce this? You don't register a bike.. Most carry ver min equipment etc with them.. no licenses etc..
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Old 02-01-03, 05:13 PM   #3
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I hope we'd see some major cycling improvements as well if they ever implemented such a tax.
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Old 02-01-03, 06:02 PM   #4
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Well, given the fact the federal gov'ment is slowly abdicating responsibility and passing unfunded mandates to the states, and the regressive tax schemes used by most states for financing (sales tax, etc., which falls disproportionately on the poor) this shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.
Here in Virginia, we had a property tax on cars (based on automobile value) which the last irresponsible administration decided to repeal (albeit partially), and now (no surprise here either) we have massive budget shortfalls. Voters refused a recent proposal to raise the sales tax in regions that have desperate gridlock (Hampton Roads/Norfolk) in order to improve said roads and now the state will likely be looking for groups with limited political clout to tax-- i.e. cyclists.
I note with some humour that should Virginia pass such a tax, I would be paying about five times the bicycle tax I now pay on my car. Perhaps if some bright light in the Virginia Senate proposes such a measure, I'll go down and argue that antique bikes be considered tax free, as such a proposal would hurt collectors (i.e. me) and we should recieve similar breaks to those garnered by collectors of antique cars. A friend owns a 59 caddy in near mint condition, and she pays only a few pennies of vehicle taxes (plus a small sticker fee). Her car is worth, oh, five to ten times what my 95 Subaru is, but I pay way more in taxes.
And if they start taxing cyclists in your neighbourhood, I suspect the only improvement will be "no bikes allowed" signs all over the place. I mean, we'll have to make the roads safe for those tax-paying citizens, and how could we make it safer than to not allow them to use anything?
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Old 02-01-03, 06:02 PM   #5
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My suggestion. I do not mind paying some kind of bike licensing fee. Of course, that for sure, elevates the bike to equal status with the car.. Taxation and representation and all that kind of stuff.
But it need be reasonable. Some states are probably eager to penalize cyclists, as they are some kind of freaks and a nuissance to motorists? What I did is email a member of The N.D. House Taxation committee a Mr. Rod Freilich. I want answers, is this tax some kind of penality to something that need be encouraged and what would cyclists get in return?
Also, I suggested I am a cycle tourist. N.D. Is one of 5 states I have yet to visit. I told Mr. Freilich I would like to tour the North Dakota Grasslands and Lewis and Clark Trail.. And that if Cyclists are not welcomed in his state, I would go elsewhere..I suggest others do the same.. Bike licensing fee is ok- if it is on par and to value being charged to the cost that the gas guzzling, pollution spewing, concrete intensive auto costs the state.. I will tell you what he replies, if anything..
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Old 02-01-03, 06:12 PM   #6
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Originally posted by cyclezealot
What I did is email a member of The N.D. House Taxation committee a Mr. Rod Freilich. I want answers, is this tax some kind of penality to something that need be encouraged and what would cyclists get in return?
Also, I suggested I am a cycle tourist. N.D. Is one of 5 states I have yet to visit. I told Mr. Freilich I would like to tour the North Dakota Grasslands and Lewis and Clark Trail.. And that if Cyclists are not welcomed in his state, I would go elsewhere..I suggest others do the same.. Bike licensing fee is ok- if it is on par and to value being charged to the cost that the gas guzzling, pollution spewing, concrete intensive auto costs the state.. I will tell you what he replies, if anything..
I would like the email address for Rod Freilich. I was thinking of going to North Dakota this summer with my wife and do some riding along the Lewis and Clark trail. I read that North Dakota has one of the worst tourist industries in the US. This will not help.
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Old 02-01-03, 06:23 PM   #7
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Originally posted by Poguemahone
Here in Virginia, we had a property tax on cars (based on automobile value) which the last irresponsible administration decided to repeal (albeit partially), and now (no surprise here either) we have massive budget shortfalls.
Perhaps your local govt will compensate as ours has... re-asses property values. Ours were only 2 years old, but on average they are now ~19% higher. Property taxes will rise accordingly.

But getting back on topic, I'm with CZ. I don't have a problem with paying a reasonable bicycle tax, if they will afford me equivalent legal status, and actually teach motorists the law, w/regard to cyclists, and apply it.
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Old 02-01-03, 06:35 PM   #8
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Originally posted by roadbuzz
But getting back on topic, I'm with CZ. I don't have a problem with paying a reasonable bicycle tax, if they will afford me equivalent legal status, and actually teach motorists the law, w/regard to cyclists, and apply it.
But of course, in the real world we all know this won't actually happen. That is simply not the idea behind a 'bicycle tax'. It's simply a political stunt to satisfy the motoring primates who don't want to share the road with bicycles. The old "we pay taxes and they don't" is simply the means they use to justify their bigotry.

Of course, what they totally fail to consider is that it costs the govt. a lot more to have a car on the road than to have a bike on the road (when one considers the road network required to host each, the stress that each puts on the maintenance of that road network, fuel subsidies, the cost of going to war to protect that fuel etc etc).
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Old 02-01-03, 06:47 PM   #9
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"Perhaps your local govt will compensate as ours has... re-asses property values."
They did that already. My house value has gone up nearly 50% in the last two years. I think they're at the limit of what they can pull on that one without a taxpayer revolt.
I don't really have a problem with some form of vehicle taxation as long as it is a) compatible with the taxation on cars (i.e., value based) and b) results in some improvement on the roads for cyclists (I'd prefer to see 100% of the monies raised by such a tax going to the establishment of bike routes, but I know that's a pipe dream). I note you live in senic C'ville, which is blessed with a substantial network of bike lanes (at least it looks that way to me when I go visit my folks there). Here in Richmond, I can only think of a single bike lane (across one of the downtown bridges, and only on the bridge. Nowhere else. Every other bridge across the James you have to dismount and walk across). I can't see the funds raised from a bicycle tax going to fund a single improvement for anything but motor vehicles (or schools, if we're lucky), given the tenor in this state.
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Old 02-01-03, 09:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by detrieux
I read on the Bicycle Advocacy that North Dakota is considering a bicycle tax in the amount of $50 for 2 years for all bikes ridden by adults with more than 2 speeds. This would mean that any one riding thru North Dakota would have to pay this tax or be fined $35. This is to be considered in February, 2003.
Well, that gives me yet another reason to never want to end up in NoDak again. Of all the places I've lived, NoDak was the worse place for cycling. In the fall you have huge sugar beat trucks driven by 12-year olds (literally) who haven't slept in days. They go from one load to another... sometimes employed by multiple trucking outfits in order to try and rack up as much cash as possible. Their inexperience combined with general disregard for everything except getting their loads in on time make them dangerous enough to motorists to say nothing of cyclists.

Oh and speaking of sugar beats... The farmers burn the stuff they can't sell. The smell is horrible and there are constant columns of black acrid smoke rising over the landscape. Flying over the countryside, I could swear I was in the middle of 1991 Kuwait. The fact that sometimes the farmer's kids start taking potshots at planes because they have nothing else better to do also did not help dispell that image either. I once had to do a no-flap landing because I could not extend my flaps. I tried dropping 1/3 flap on downwind and the lever would not budge. After I landed and squawked the plane, the mechanic came out and we did an inspection. What we found was a deformed flap-extension strut caused by a graze from a bullet. A few inches forward and that bullet would have hit my right wingtank. The mechanic shrugged and said, "yeah... that'll happen around here... the kids... they get bored."
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Old 02-01-03, 10:12 PM   #11
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I think North Dakota is just looking for a reason to get their 15 minutes of fame. The movie Fargo is long forgotten and I'm sure the people of North Dakota are feeling quite unimportant right now.
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Old 02-02-03, 12:02 AM   #12
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No we are not "feeling unimportant right now." We have an anal orifice that is anti biking and is making it his mission to hassle cyclists - this "gentleman" is a know anti-cyclist fanatic. By the way the Cohen(sp) brothers do great films - none , including Fargo, are "long forgotten."
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Old 02-02-03, 12:30 AM   #13
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Here in B.C., Canada, Bicycles are exempt from the Provincial sales tax because they are an "Enviromentally Friendly" form of transportation. Parts and accessories too. Not bicycle clothing or shoes though. Still, shows how atitudes in government make all the difference. BTW, this tax exemtion was introduced by a right wing government and has remained in effect though several right/left swings in politics. Bicycles are seen as an alternative transportation, not a political issue.
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Old 02-02-03, 12:50 AM   #14
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That's odd. Here there are talks of a tax break for those who commute by bike.
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Old 02-02-03, 02:30 AM   #15
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NDbentrider and Detriex.. ND Rider. First I hope the stories about ND are not true. Being a lover of northern Michigan (UP) I have the greatest respect for Scandavian people.. I love the North country- trees and all, so ND was seriously a place I wanted to visit.. Think you have scenic spots equivilant to SD's Badlands..?
Detriex.. Whenever I want to contact someone in state government, I go to Yahoo Government and on that menu go to appropriate state. You can find the appropriate contact through the Yahoo Government search engine.
Being that tax bills originate in State House of Representatives, I went to the ND House Taxation Committee. That is where such bills originate.. I choose the ranking member.. Hopefully this person is critical of whatever..
Bicylists should fight back. We all can be tourists in ND and they should know our feelings. In fact I recall ads in Adventure Cycling Magazine about cycle tours in North Dakota.
ND Rider. You say there is some anti-cyclist fanatic in ND state government. I suggest you should inform us so we all can contact this person. The governor maybe.? ND does not want cycle tourists, they should stop advertising for us ! Snail mail is more effective!
This goes against the grain of even the Federal governmet. Most state governmets and the Fed's talk of tax incentives for commuting on bike. What gives here. Let's not stand by idly..
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Old 02-02-03, 05:02 AM   #16
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Originally posted by Poguemahone
Well, given the fact the federal gov'ment is slowly abdicating responsibility and passing unfunded mandates to the states, and the regressive tax schemes used by most states for financing (sales tax, etc., which falls disproportionately on the poor) this shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.
Here in Virginia, we had a property tax on cars (based on automobile value) which the last irresponsible administration decided to repeal (albeit partially), and now (no surprise here either) we have massive budget shortfalls. Voters refused a recent proposal to raise the sales tax in regions that have desperate gridlock (Hampton Roads/Norfolk) in order to improve said roads and now the state will likely be looking for groups with limited political clout to tax-- i.e. cyclists....
Yeah, we've got the same problems out here in Washington State. The majority of WA voters want something for nothing, so they vote themselves tax cuts and vote themselves major road projects. Our politicians cannot be trusted to come up with a workable and equitable method of taxation, so we're stuck with squabbling over the "devil we do know", instead of seeking progressive change. The one alternative that citizens had to ineffective government, the voter initiave process, has largely been hijacked by monied interests that are very good at spinning their machinations as being in the public interest.
It is dissappointing to see such selfish behavior from people who have grown but not grown up.

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Old 02-02-03, 06:01 AM   #17
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On many old bikes I have noticed registration stickers usually issued by the township municipality. I think this was common in the 1970s. Does anyone know about this. Also bicycle license plates are commonly auctioned on Ebay. I don't know what era these are from but it appears to be something that was widely practiced as most states are represented. I guess my point is, "hasn't this been done before?"
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Old 02-02-03, 06:22 AM   #18
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cyclezealot:

Thanks for the information on the email addresses.
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Old 02-02-03, 07:25 AM   #19
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If I remember right, doesn't ND have no sales tax? This is interesting, I want to follow this thread to see how the lefties respond to this one. BTW- I've been up there. It's not so bad, lots of pheasants
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Old 02-02-03, 08:59 AM   #20
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by ndbentrider
[B]No we are not "feeling unimportant right now."

Having ridden many days and miles in ND--several CANDISC rides included--I consider ND to be a wonderful place to ride. The people are wonderful and the state is NOT all flat.

ndbentrider, is the idiot in question widely regarded as such, or does this tax have a chance of being implemented? As a Minnesotan, who could I contact and suggest that such a tax will harm the state?
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Old 02-02-03, 10:15 AM   #21
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Yeah, when I was a kid, the local municipality issued bike plates (later stickers), and they charged maybe $3 for them. It wasn't mandatory, but was rather a form of theft protection.
As far as the lovely state of N. Dakota goes, it was the last state of the lower 48 that I got to visit back when I drove over-the-road. A rather unremarkable state, if you ask me. Wide , flat praries, wind, wind, and more wind. Back roads were often held up by "Hoots" (Hutterites) driving trucks pulling mountain doubles (that's one 48' trailer, followed by a 28' pup trailer) filled with hay. They looked for all the world like Amish truckers.....
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Old 02-02-03, 11:44 AM   #22
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Just to shed some light on the proposed bill...

The Bill has 4 sections:
(1) A $35 fine will be issued to anyone who operates a bicycle on a highway or bike path and violates any of the follow provisions.

(2) A cyclist must ride as near to the right as practicable. Cyclists
must ride single file on roadways, may ride 2 abreast on bike paths.
If a bike path exists, the cyclist must use the path and not the road.

(3) A bike operated in the dark must have a front lamp and rear red light and reflective vest. A bike must be equipped which will lock up
the rear wheel.

(4) A cyclist may not ride a bike on a highway outside city limits
without a $50 permit. This section specifies "cross-country racer,
cruiser, touring bike, or racing bike." Fees collected will be used
for construction and maintenance of bike paths.

As you can see there are some flaws with the bill. Group rides are impractical and dangerous on paths (which are shared with runners, in-line skaters, etc.). Also, many serious riders ride outside city limits for safety, being forced to pay the permit fee. Bicycle tourists would also be forced to pay the fee...quite discouraging for CANDISC. Although revenues from this law would go towards the creation of more bike paths, many cyclists here believe that they shouldn't have to pay to use roads they already paid for (when cycling ouside city limits).

BTW, ND does have a sales tax. I believe a few years ago, ND was the least visited state in the country. Although, I do not know where it stands now. I wouldn't be shocked if it's still last.
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Old 02-02-03, 11:53 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by ndbentrider
No we are not "feeling unimportant right now." We have an anal orifice that is anti biking and is making it his mission to hassle cyclists - this "gentleman" is a know anti-cyclist fanatic. By the way the Cohen(sp) brothers do great films - none , including Fargo, are "long forgotten."
Sorry if I offended anyone. I just was trying to make a point. I figured these "anal orifices" would have better things to do than tax bike riders, like filming the sequel to Fargo or something.
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Old 02-02-03, 02:20 PM   #24
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I believe a few years ago, ND was the least visited state in the country. Although, I do not know where it stands now. I wouldn't be shocked if it's still last.
I remember a particularly funny segment on the old Michael Moore show where he sent one of his "reporters" to NoDak to figure out why it was the least visited state. Of course he sent that person in the middle of January. My friends and I all got a good laugh.. especially since we were watching it from a dorm room at UND at the time. |8^)
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Old 02-02-03, 02:45 PM   #25
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I lived in Minot ND fo 7 years.. went to college there. North Dakota can have brutal winters but the summers are beautiful. So many of the touring cyclist miss the peace garden area and the North unit of the Theodore Roosevelt NP. They stick to hiway 2, take a picture of the geographical center of North America in Rolla (I think it's Rolla LOL) and head to Fargo. There are areas of ND that while not comparable to my home state of Montana, are still absolutely stunning.
They don't have hutterites in ND.... Montana has lots of them on the hi-line.
A tax such as ND is considering is assinine. Some jerk probably had to move over once for a touring cyclist that was trying to spend money and time in ND.
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