Oregon’s bike tax revenue nearly doubles since 2018
The bike boom is real in Oregon and the last way to prove it is to check how much money the state collects for excise tax on bikes. The $15 tax raised almost $1 million last year.
Oregon’s bicycle tax was passed in 2017 by lawmakers who believed it would give bicycle users “skin in the game” (gross) and calm the anger of drivers who were asked to pay a range of new car-related charges as part of the landmark HB 2017 transportation bill. Some proponents, including Portland Congressman Earl Blumenauer, supported the idea based on the idea that it showed that cycling had officially earned a place at the adult table.
Although it started slowly, revenue is now close to the $1.2 million per year figure that state officials estimated it would grow and nearly double the amount raised in 2018, the first year. full calendar where it was collected.
According to figures from the Oregon Department of Revenue shared with BikePortland this week, the tax brought in $498,670 in 2018. In 2021, the amount was $908,156.
One of the ways lawmakers softened the blow of this tax was to tie the proceeds directly to infrastructure projects that improve cycling. Under ORS 320.440, all bicycle tax revenue goes to the Multimodal Active Transportation Fund where it is combined with a portion of the Vehicle Dealer Lien Tax (also passed in 2017, it s is a 0.5% tax on the retail price of any taxable car or truck sold in Oregon) and Transportation Operating Fund revenues (which are unreimbursed gasoline taxes for fuel for off-road use, such as lawnmowers). From there, the money goes to the Community Paths program, where it is distributed as grants, “dedicated to helping communities build and maintain connections through multi-use trails.”
The bicycle tax applies to all new bicycles (acoustic and electric) sold in Oregon with a retail price of $200 or more.
CORRECTION, 5/14: We originally stated that the vehicle lien tax was 0.005% of the retail price. It was wrong. It’s 0.5%. Sorry.