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  1. #1
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    Wisconsin Bike Tax

    Any feedback from our Wisconsin members? To top matters off, the money would go to the general fund, not transportation or bicycling infrastructure.

    Leaders of Trek, Wheel & Sprocket object to Wisconsin bike tax - Milwaukee - Milwaukee Business Journal
    We have met the enemy and they is us.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    Aw, for crying out loud! Fair share my patoot. Show me a case where too many bikes damaged a road to the point of needing repair and we can talk.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve0257 View Post
    Any feedback from our Wisconsin members? To top matters off, the money would go to the general fund, not transportation or bicycling infrastructure.

    Leaders of Trek, Wheel & Sprocket object to Wisconsin bike tax - Milwaukee - Milwaukee Business Journal
    The article says the money will go into the general transportation budget, but won't be channelled to cycling projects. Credibility hinges on accuracy.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    The article says the money will go into the general transportation budget, but won't be channelled to cycling projects. Credibility hinges on accuracy.
    Sorry. I saw General Budget and missed transportation.
    We have met the enemy and they is us.

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  5. #5
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    The fairness argument--that somehow cyclists are freeloaders who don't pay for infrastructure via gas taxes and the like--is pretty dumb. My guess is that transportation budget probably needs revenues and this is the only tax that might actually get passed in a republican controlled legislature with a governor running for president since it can be portrayed as a "user" fee rather than a tax. If you really want a user fee, then require that the bike tax be directed to funding cycling improvements but that is not how the proposal currently reads.

    I think it's interesting that the legislature wants to kill the complete streets law that requires that cycling and pedestrian "accommodations" be included in road projects. Wisconsin is an attractive state for cycling but this proposal won't help.

  6. #6
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
    The fairness argument--that somehow cyclists are freeloaders who don't pay for infrastructure via gas taxes and the like--is pretty dumb. My guess is that transportation budget probably needs revenues and this is the only tax that might actually get passed in a republican controlled legislature with a governor running for president since it can be portrayed as a "user" fee rather than a tax. If you really want a user fee, then require that the bike tax be directed to funding cycling improvements but that is not how the proposal currently reads.

    I think it's interesting that the legislature wants to kill the complete streets law that requires that cycling and pedestrian "accommodations" be included in road projects. Wisconsin is an attractive state for cycling but this proposal won't help.
    Indeed it is:

    "[Wisconsin state legislator Nygren's] reasoning appears to be based on a view that cyclists don’t pay for their share of road building, while motorists shoulder the burden through the gas tax. The tax would end the supposed free ride for cyclists."

    Many of the roads bicyclists use are paid for by property taxes, not the fuel tax, so any cyclist who pays property tax is already paying for road building. And since bicycles cause far less wear on the roads than motor vehicles and require less pavement, parking, etc. a person who uses their bicycle for transportation is likely actually subsidizing those who use cars exclusively.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    Indeed it is:

    "[Wisconsin state legislator Nygren's] reasoning appears to be based on a view that cyclists don’t pay for their share of road building, while motorists shoulder the burden through the gas tax. The tax would end the supposed free ride for cyclists."

    Many of the roads bicyclists use are paid for by property taxes, not the fuel tax, so any cyclist who pays property tax is already paying for road building. And since bicycles cause far less wear on the roads than motor vehicles and require less pavement, parking, etc. a person who uses their bicycle for transportation is likely actually subsidizing those who use cars exclusively.
    Absolutely. I don't understand why the misconception that registration fees and gas tax covers road infrastructure still prevails. Plus, as a cyclist, we still pay for things with our gas taxes whether it's in our own vehicles or through pricing in purchasing items that have been delivered to where ever with a motor vehicle.

    Regarding this tax, I think subsidizing cycling-specific infrastructure through a small "tax" factored in as a percentage of a total purchase price wouldn't be out of line. But the upwards of $25 "tax" is ridiculous. Furthermore, I believe WI just cut a boat load of money from the DNR. I'm not sure whose purview the trails and paths fall under, but wouldn't this tax also NOT be applied to those considering a general transportation budget covers roadways?

  8. #8
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
    I think it's interesting that the legislature wants to kill the complete streets law that requires that cycling and pedestrian "accommodations" be included in road projects. Wisconsin is an attractive state for cycling but this proposal won't help.
    That's just wrong too. The complete streets program has really helped in the areas around here, and should be continued.

  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Scott Walker !!!! You swine !!!!

  10. #10
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    Just another dip into the tax payers pocket.
    “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the former."
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  11. #11
    Senior Member intransit1217's Avatar
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    I'll be happy to give them my 25 bucks on a new cargo bike purchase. And then sell my car. If my calculations are correct, that's a net funding loss.
    Bikeforums: Not just for bikes any more.

  12. #12
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    Wisconsin has the government the Koch brothers paid for? (If that's too political, I apologize. Let me know, and I'll be glad to edit this out.)

    It's telling, I think, that the proposed tax hits the buyers of the cheapest bikes much harder than the buyers of expensive bikes.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
    Wisconsin has the government the Koch brothers paid for? (If that's too political, I apologize. Let me know, and I'll be glad to edit this out.)

    It's telling, I think, that the proposed tax hits the buyers of the cheapest bikes much harder than the buyers of expensive bikes.
    And does it apply to children's bikes, which I imagine, make-up most of the sales each year of bicycles just about anywhere? And wouldn't there be a state retail tax already applied... well, I think there is, as pointed out in the article about the $750,000 that already goes into state coffers.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    And does it apply to children's bikes, which I imagine, make-up most of the sales each year of bicycles just about anywhere? And wouldn't there be a state retail tax already applied... well, I think there is, as pointed out in the article about the $750,000 that already goes into state coffers.
    I seem to remember seeing somewhere that it only applied to bikes with wheels of over 20 inches. If this goes into effect, lets see how popular folders with 16 inch wheels become.
    We have met the enemy and they is us.

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  15. #15
    On Your Right cb400bill's Avatar
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    Moved from General Cycling to Great Lakes regional.

  16. #16
    aka: Mike J. treebound's Avatar
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    First off, I rarely buy new bikes so this proposed tax won't affect me much.

    Second, Scott Walker is not the sponsor of this.

    3rd, if they are looking at this then they also have to look at a running shoe tax, a dog leash tax, and a stroller tax, because they stated "pedestrians" so fair is fair.

    4th, it isn't fair to add a tax AND remove a program that is supposed to be about the same group of people.

    5th, I also have cars and motorcycles so I am already paying my fair share.

    6th, Doyle was famous for raiding various funds and adding sneaky taxes, so we have to look more at the programs and proposed programs and taxes and get less caught up on which party is promoting it. Drop the emotions and look at the facts, or the mis-assumptions and distortions of facts designed to get people emotionally fired up so then they can be more easily manipulated.

    Enjoy the next ride because tomorrow there may be a fee assigned. Which reminds me, I need to get updated upon the bike trail passes and fees since I don't want to get a ticket for riding someplace where a fee is required and that I somehow missed the signage.
    Last edited by treebound; 05-24-15 at 09:14 AM.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member intransit1217's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by treebound View Post
    First off, I rarely buy new bikes so this proposed tax won't affect me much.

    Second, fietsbob, Scott Walker is not the sponsor of this.

    3rd, if they are looking at this then they also have to look at a running shoe tax, a dog leash tax, and a stroller tax, because they stated "pedestrians" so fair is fair.

    4th, it isn't fair to add a tax AND remove a program that is supposed to be about the same group of people.

    5th, I also have cars and motorcycles so I am already paying my fair share.

    6th, back to fiestsbob, Doyle was famous for raiding various funds and adding sneaky taxes, so we have to look more at the programs and proposed programs and taxes and get less caught up on which party is promoting it. Drop the emotions and look at the facts, or the mis-assumptions and distortions of facts designed to get people emotionally fired up so then they can be more easily manipulated.

    Enjoy the next ride because tomorrow there may be a fee assigned. Which reminds me, I need to get updated upon the bike trail passes and fees since I don't want to get a ticket for riding someplace where a fee is required and that I somehow missed the signage.
    I get Wisconsin bike fed on my fb page keeping me updated on the proposed changes and of course links to write to my legislators etc. Sadly, I have no more nice words for them when it's obvious they're not listening. How does one not get wound up? I pretty much believe these changes aren't about budget and making things better for all of us so much as a personal hit against liberals.
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  18. #18
    aka: Mike J. treebound's Avatar
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    I won't get into the Liberal vs Conservative vs Libertarian vs Republican vs Democrat vs (insert other groups here) because cycling and running and canoeing and other recreational interests cross all political borders. Then there is always the human powered vehicle (cyclists) vs gas powered (atv) vs non-vehicle (hikers and/vs horses) to further divide people. Yes it is real easy to be driven with emotions.

    I guess I should refresh my BikeFed connection even though it seemed like BikeFed was mostly Madison-centric.

    Argh, I guess we can't all just get along together.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by treebound View Post
    I won't get into the Liberal vs Conservative vs Libertarian vs Republican vs Democrat vs (insert other groups here) because cycling and running and canoeing and other recreational interests cross all political borders. . . . snip
    + 1. We all have our politics but that shouldn't matter when it comes to this proposed tax. It's just a dumb tax on the merits (cyclists pay taxes just like anyone else) but could be defensible if tied to paying for bicycle infrastructure (a user fee).

    The proposed tax singles out a leisure activity for most disfavored status since you're asking cyclists to pay more for road infrastructure than other citizens.

  20. #20
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    I think this is a craven appeal to the people who don't like to be held up a few seconds by those guys in the funny black shorts who are acting like they are in the Tour de France and must think "they own the road". I can't believe that the money collected is going to be all the significant anyway given the hassle involved. In Silicon Valley, where I'm writing from, I strongly believe that the typical touring or commuting cyclist probably pays far more in overall state and local taxes than the average resident. Virtually 100% of cyclists pay gas tax also.

  21. #21
    Senior Member intransit1217's Avatar
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    How can we make sure the current status stays quo here in wisconsin? No bike tax, and we don't lose the other programs already in place.

    much as I love the idea that recreation crosses imaginary divisions, it still comes down to who holds the majority vote, no?
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  22. #22
    fixed kitty wipekitty's Avatar
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    I suspect that this proposed tax would mainly disadvantage those who are purchasing X-mart bicycles. Legislators seem to forget that bicycles can be purchased in other states, and that the populated parts of Wisconsin are not far from those other states.

    If this passes, I'll be curious to see if any of our local bike shops open a branch two miles down the road in Minnesota...
    "There are no fast bikes - only fast people." - Some smart person

  23. #23
    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
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    I think the legislature would find that people buying new bikes in WI generally own a vehicle too. I personally register and fuel 3 vehicles, not to mention paying for a WI trail pass (which is also proposed to rise with their de-funding of State Parks) to ride on the state trails. They need to bite the bullet and raise the gas tax/registration if they want to continue on the road building path they are trying to fund.
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  24. #24
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    This is great news - if you own a bike shop in Waukegan, Dubuque, Minneapolis, Duluth, Iron Mountain, etc. For the rest of us here in WI, probably not so much.

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