• 04-17-2013
    What do you think about the proposed fee on new bike sales?
    Please take our 1-question survey now: Survey : Questions

    This Friday, State Legislature will be hearing public testimony on the House Transportation budget, HB 1954. This bill includes a proposed $25 fee on sales of all new bikes that cost more than $500. Currently the money raised would go into a dedicated account to improve street access for pedestrians and bicyclists.

    The fees are estimated to total about $1.7 million per year and approximately 25% of that may be from the sale of bikes intended primarily for use on trails rather than roads.

    Our Executive Director will be on hand in Olympia Friday to speak for mountain bikers, so we need your opinion NOW...

    Please take our one question survey ASAP so Glenn can represent your opinions in this matter.

    Thanks so much for taking time to share your opinion!


  • 04-17-2013
    dirt pirate
    Mountain bikers should oppose this legislation as written. If fees charged to mountain bikes were directed to mountain bike trails that would change the situation for sure, but the collection and accounting would be cumbersome and that burden would be placed on the bike shops for sure. I do not own a road bike or any bike that is intended for street use and do not plan to purchase one. I also do not use my mountain bike in town or on any urban trail that would benefit from fees collected from my bike purchases. I have no problem with user fees per say, just so those charged are those using the facilities the funds are designated toward. I think 25% of 1.7 million would build some great mountain bike trails.
  • 04-17-2013
    I wrote my legislators as well as the chair of the transportation committee about this. Basically I said it would put our local bike shops (local business and jobs) at further risk from online discount retailers and was unfair to mountain-bikers, who don't utilize the amenities that these fees go towards (such as bike lanes). Here is the response I received from Judy Clibborn, chair of the transportation committee and sponsor of the bill:

    Thank you for reaching out with your concerns on the bicycle sales fee. As always, I greatly appreciate hearing from Washington residents on the bills I decide to sponsor.

    There were many different ideas that went into constructing the 'Connecting Washington' package. Out of the proposals we decided to include, the bicycle sales fee has been one of the more controversial topics. The purpose behind the inclusion of this fee relates directly to the projects that the revenue package will fund. Specifically, the 'Complete Streets' grant program is set to receive around $61 million in funding from the revenue package. To offset the cost of this investment we decided to create the bicycle sales fee- which would bring in around $1 million. Altogether this revenue would take care of 2% of the total funding needed to execute the 'Complete Streets' program.

    As the chair of the House Transportation Committee, I value the safety of cyclists and have continually sought to improve the bicycle usability of our streets. With all of the improvements we hope to make, we also wanted to make sure that everyone contributes to the project's success. Although the revenue brought in by the bicycle sales fee would be small, it was intended to be a symbol that everybody was paying their fair share.

    Upon the release of the transportation revenue package, there have been many complaints directed at the bicycle sales fee. I now recognize that this fee would have a disproportionate impact on small bicycle retailers and there would be a great deal of difficulty in the bill's implementation. In response to these concerns, I have been working collaboratively with others to mitigate the negative impact of the fee. I would like to assure you that it is more than likely that the bicycle sales fee will be left out of the final version of the Connecting Washington package. I can also say with certainty that if the fee is left in the package, it will not be in its current form.

    Thank you again for writing. I will be sure to keep your concerns in mind as we move forward with the legislative session.
  • 04-17-2013
    Great news... Rep Clibborn released a revised bill late yesterday that removed the bike fee, it wasn’t the bill linked on the legislative agenda, but we have confirmed that the fee is removed.

    Thanks to everyone who chimed in on the survey. Even though we won't need to fight this proposal now, it help us to know where you stand.