In a bid to raise funds for a $10 billion transportation bill in Washington State, legislators want to impose a $25 tax on all bicycles that cost more than $500. When local business owners and Seattle Bike Blog contacted Washington Rep. Ed Orcutt (R), a member of the State Transportation Committee, to question the tax, Orcutt claimed that cyclists are contributing nothing to use the roads and because of their high heart and respiration rate, they produce greater carbon emissions than motorists.

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“Sorry, but I do think that bicyclists need to start paying for the roads they ride on rather than make motorists pay,” Orcutt told Dale Carlson, owner of Bike Tech in Tacoma, in an email. Which doesn’t seem so unreasonable, but his reasoning when speaking to Seattle Bike Blog was a little less coherent.

“A cyclists [sic] has an increased heart rate and respiration,” Orcutt said. “That means that the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider. Since CO2 is deemed to be a greenhouse gas and a pollutant, bicyclists are actually polluting when they ride.”

Small business owners that sell bicycles are concerned that the additional red tape and costs associated with the new tax law will hurt their business. Others point out that Washington State cyclists pay for roads in a variety of other ways, according to The Examiner.

“People who bicycle already pay substantial taxes for our transportation system, including the sales taxes, property taxes and federal taxes that together cover two-thirds of all transportation spending in Washington,” said Evan Manvel, a writer for Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club.

Meanwhile, he adds, bicyclists are required to pay the same car tabs even if they don’t use their cars as regularly as other motorists. Here’s a question: why is Orcutt going after bicyclists for a mere $1 million in bike taxes when vehicular carbon emissions are the real enemy?

Via The Examiner