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Transportation

Oregon (Yes, Oregon) Just Put a Tax on Bicycles

The $15 fee on new bikes is a strange way for the state to prioritize active transit.
Luckily, this kid won't have to pay the tax.
Luckily, this kid won't have to pay the tax.Greg Wahl-Stephens/AP

Oregon boasts the country’s top share of bike commuters, the first per-mile driving fee program, and some of the cleanest urban air quality. And with its newly passed transportation bill, this famously progressive playground will also be the first state with a bicycle tax.

Oregon, which does not levy regular sales taxes, will require buyers of new, adult-sized bikes priced $200 and up to pay $15 in excise taxes starting in the fall. With annual administration costs pegged at a mere $100,000, the tax is expected to raise $1.2 million a year for the Oregon DOT’s Connect Oregon program, which helps fund projects serving multiple modes of transportation.