A proposal in the Windy City to tax cyclists to generate revenue isn’t gaining any traction with local leaders.
County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said the idea of requiring cyclists to register their bikes is largely impractical and has been proposed a number of times as a way to reimburse county coffers for projects largely benefiting cyclists.
However, the premise isn’t viable, as it would cost more to administer and enforce the tax than the fees would generate, Huckelberry said.
But the county is already getting some tax revenue from the cyclists, he said.
Most people who own a bike also have a car, Huckleberry reasons.
Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said the city hasn’t considered a similar tax. Nor is he aware of a local plan to pursue a tax on bicyclists.
Rothschild said doesn’t believe the city could justify taxing bikes in a way that’s similar to what’s being talked about in Chicago. That’s because unlike Chicago, which has to employ special snowplows to clear out its bike lanes, Tucson doesn’t require any unique equipment to maintain its bike lanes, Rothschild said.
However, not every tax stems from government officials looking for creative ways to bilk taxpayers out of even more money.
Some even come at the behest of citizens.
In Colorado Springs, Rothschild said, the bicyclist community suggested a one-time bike registration fee, and then using those funds to attract federal matching grants for bicycle infrastructure.
That’s why Rothschild believes every proposal should be judged on its own merits.
The Arizona Legislature has not considered a proposal that would target cyclists.