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Colorado Springs loves their bike excise tax


“There’s no way we could have put in the facilities we’ve put in in the last 20 years without the bike tax.”
— A Colorado Springs city planner as told to the Gazette newspaper

In light of the bike excise tax idea that is being mulled about here in Oregon, I thought I’d share a story I came across several months ago (thanks to the excellent blog, Cyclelicious) about a bike tax in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

According to an article in the Colorado Springs Gazette published in August, the city has had a bike excise tax in place since 1988. In the past 20 years the tax has generated about $2 million in revenue and, more importantly, the article reports that:

City officials have used money from the tax to get hundreds of thousands in matching grants from the federal government.

The $4 per bike tax applies to new bicycles with wheels of over 14-inches.

Story continues below

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What has the tax meant to the city? Colorado Springs city planner Craig Blewitt told the Gazette that, “There’s no way we could have put in the facilities we’ve put in in the last 20 years without the bike tax.”

According to the article, the tax passed without much uproar and the city helped paved the way by working with retailers before it came up for a vote. Bike shops also kept quiet after they began seeing new trail projects built with the money. The Gazette reports:

From a business point of view as well as one of enriching the community, …bicycle shop owners got behind the tax.

The article also mentions that Colorado Springs is the only city in the country with such a tax. Read the entire article (it’s quite interesting) in the Colorado Springs Gazette.

[Thanks to Cyclelicious for bringing this information to my attention.]

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