EUGENE, Ore. – The New Year has ushered plenty of new laws in Oregon that went in to effect January 1st.
One of those new laws has added transportation related taxes. House Bill 2017 was passed earlier last year, making a major transportation funding plan that state lawmakers claim will improve roads, rail, bridges, and ports.
These new transportation taxes have small business owners like Matt Ritzow, concerned.
Ritzow owns Paul’s Bicycle way of life, a local bike shop. The new changes are forcing him to charge $15 more on bikes that cost $200 or more.
“I think it’s a regressive move,” he said. “We don't tax people who put solar panels up under their car. Why should we penalize the cyclist who chooses to make a difference up out on the roadway?"
Ritzow said car drivers should pay for costs of wear and tear in roads since bikes hardly do any damage on the roads.
“A cyclist would have to do 17,000 trips on a roadway to do the same damage as one car trip,” he said. “To make the argument that cyclist aren’t paying their fair share is absurd when most cyclist also own vehicles.”
Ritzow also said he is concerned that the tax may increase over time.