That Was Fast — Ray Scott Backs Down from Colorado Bike Tax

Photo: David Sachs
Photo: David Sachs

The ill-conceived idea to tax Colorado bicyclists started with a post on State Senator Ray Scott’s Facebook page Wednesday. “We will be proposing something similar, they use the roads also,” he wrote above a Washington Times article on Oregon’s bike tax.

State Senator Ray Scott
State Senator Ray Scott

That post has vanished. And Scott, a Republican from Grand Junction, now has cold feet.

“At this point, you know, if somebody said, are you gonna write a bill to do what Oregon did, I’m gonna say no, of course,” Scott told 9News. He cited online backlash — “more opposition than support” — and pivoted to focusing on “a public safety conversation.”

Before Scott backed off, the Denver Post editorial board pounced on a chance to support the bike tax, which the paper claimed would do “quite a bit” for bike infrastructure.

Oregon’s tax raises a measly $1.4 million annually for the entire state. That’s less than Denver spends on bike infrastructure in a year. But the Post saw a bike tax as a political concession necessary to get rural lawmakers on board with a statewide transportation funding bill.

It’s a predictable take from the Post, which in the editorial’s first paragraph perpetuates a stereotype of people who bike as “urban car-less hipsters.” Luckily it seems like the cleanest, healthiest, most affordable form transportation is safe from a special tax. For now.

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