Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 17, 2008 at 11:10 AM

Tax the cyclists

Not worth the effort

I’m extremely disappointed in James F. Vesely’s recent columns about taxing cyclists [“Impose license fee on King County cyclists,” Dec. 7; “Tales of two cycling cities, Chicago and Honolulu,” James F. Vesely editorial column, Dec. 14].

Transportation funding in Washington state doesn’t just come from gasoline taxes — both property and sales taxes contribute a large percentage. Except for the small percentage of cyclists who don’t own any automobiles, most pay all of those forms of taxes.

Either Vesely is ignorant of these facts or he knows those facts and chooses to ignore them.

Reading between the lines of the two opinion pieces, the only factually accurate argument for creating a new tax like this is that “government needs the money.” In that situation, creation of little user-fee-type taxes such as the one proposed is wrong on a number of levels, the most basic of which is complexity.

Adding a bicycle tax would necessitate creating new collection and enforcement mechanisms, and the net contribution of the new tax to state tax revenues would not be worth the effort.

— John Hambacher, Woodinville

Comments | More in bicycling

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►