$7 fee proposed on new bikes sold in California

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Doctor Morbius, Feb 26, 2005.

  1. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    Betty Karnette Contact e-mail: Tell her this is a bad idea!!!

    [email protected]

    By Michael Gardner
    COPLEY NEWS SERVICE

    5:09 p.m. February 24, 2005

    SACRAMENTO – A South Bay lawmaker has proposed a $7 fee on every new bicycle sold in California to promote a statewide recycling and reuse program. Buyers would receive $3 back when they turned their bikes into a certified recycler or community group that refurbishes and reuses the popular mode of transportation. "Our landfills are jammed. Why not recycle parts of bicycles?" said Assemblywoman Betty Karnette, a Long Beach Democrat who represents parts of the Harbor Area. "We can put bikes together and sell them cheaply or give them to people who can't afford bikes." Karnette's proposal is not unprecedented. For years California has charged a deposit on cans and bottles to fund recycling programs. More recently, California has started collecting $6 to $10 on every new television and computer monitor sold to offset disposal costs.

    Nevertheless, the legislation has sparked a debate in the bicycling community over whether the fee would lead to more users by providing affordable bikes or if higher prices would hurt independent dealers who actively promote cycling through rides and education. In Oakland, the Cycles of Change nonprofit works with schools to offer bicycle safety and maintenance programs for 800 students. Those who complete the course can take home a bike. "It would be very helpful," said Maya Carson, the program's co-director. "It would mean we could continue in the future and keep up with demand." Demand also is booming at an innovative bicycle lending program in Arcata, home to Humboldt

    State University. Residents check-out bicycles much like books. For a refundable $20 deposit, they can use the bike for six months. "It's a simple way to get people to use bicycles," said Bill Burton, who oversees the Arcata Library Bike project. But not all bicycling enthusiasts eagerly embrace the idea of paying $7 more when they are ready for a new one. "Any time you add a fee to a new product it's almost like an additional tax. Taxes for consumers are unfriendly, to say the least," said Brian Cox, a vice president of Jax Bicycle Center, a five-store chain in Southern California. Cox said there may be better alternatives that the biking community could explore with Karnette since her goals – reducing landfill waste, encouraging more riders and helping those who cannot afford a new bike – are laudable.

    Justin Fanslau, a lobbyist for the California Bicycle Coalition, said cyclists and retailers would be more interested in participating in voluntary recycling and reuse programs. "I would imagine folks who purchase bikes in their own community, if given the option,would want to benefit their community," Fanslau said. Fred Clements, executive director of a Costa Mesa-based national coalition of specialty bicycle dealers, worries that higher fees would drive away business. "A $7 charge would be difficult for them to handle," he said. "There's not a lot of profit. It's a business of passion."

    Clements said lawmakers could find better targets for a redemption program. "There are things thrown away that seem to be more onerous than bicycles," he said. "Bicycle riding should be encouraged – not discouraged."

    Clements and the others are not convinced bicycles are dumped in landfills in large numbers. Many are turned over to charities, resold at yard sales or just gather dust in garages, they said. The higher-end models "are not disposable products. These are lifetime products," Clements said. Californians buy between 3 million and 4 million bicycles a year. Most pay under $100 at discount department stores, according to industry figures. The legislation, AB 1103, leaves it up to the Integrated Waste Management Board to implement the program, including tracking sales of bicycles that qualify for a refund. California landfills take in an estimated 250,000 bicycles a year, Karnette estimated. "We're going to have to do something," she said. "This is a beginning."
     
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  2. Bikelux

    Bikelux New Member

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    Please don't show this to any Australian politicians. We don't want any ideas put into their heads :rolleyes:
    We pay enough taxes/levies and other bullsh!t fees and we're still waiting for our roads and bike paths to have the diamond, marble and gold top dressing laid.;)
     
  3. Cyclist14

    Cyclist14 New Member

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    Does $7.00 make a diffrence when you're already paying $500-$11,000:eek: for a new bike?
     
  4. ritcho

    ritcho New Member

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    Alas, additional taxes are an additional burden, however small. Given the traffic density and average age of cars in the US, perhaps a deposit scheme on cars would be much more effective in reducing waste.

    Ritch
     
  5. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    Over 150 views on this topic and only the 3 posts? Man, you people are a bunch of pacifists.

    Let's give unto Caesar what is Caesars' right? Forget all about give me liberty of give me death. That doesn't sell here.

    Edit: Samual Adams is turning in his grave.
     
  6. cydewaze

    cydewaze New Member

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    Actually, we're a bunch of non-Californians.
     
  7. p38lightning

    p38lightning New Member

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    I'll bet that the money never finds it's way to anything cycle related before some grubby little politician finds a "more important and pressing need" to spend it on.
     
  8. TrekDedicated

    TrekDedicated New Member

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    That's two spare tubes...
     
  9. ganderctr

    ganderctr New Member

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    You'd think they'd be encourage biking since it reduces the number of cars on the road...how about not taxing them when they're sold but refunding when they're bought back and reissued? Sounds like a better deal to me.
     
  10. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    Yes that's true. And FICA taxes were once 1.5% of one's earned income when they were first initiated under FDR. Things change.

    The city of Indianapolis begain a 1% temporary sales tax to help build the dome for the Colts. 15 years later that temporary tax is still there.
     
  11. cydewaze

    cydewaze New Member

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    IMO there's no such thing as a "temporary" tax. It's very, very difficult for political type people to turn down free cash. It's like saying, "I'm only going to take heroin temporarily". Not likely.
     
  12. Telegram Sam

    Telegram Sam New Member

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    It makes perfect sense- Add it to the 70% gas taxes (that were SUPPOSED to go into roads and trails), the .5% Tax for trails to rails, and whatever else they throw at us...someday we may get in return what was promised (but don't hold your breath...
    My favorite part is the justification, which is recycling. The cleanest form of transportation in the world, and now they are being penalized in CA on the basis of recycling? Never ceases to astonish me what they come up with. Couldn't just give folks a tax benefit for donating their bikes themselves...gotta have someones nephew head it up and collect money before they can do any good
    Crap
     
  13. Chance3290

    Chance3290 New Member

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    Let's think about this like politicians. Cyclist are, for the most part, health conscious and environmentally friendly. Cyclist are probably more likely to be in favor of recycling than a welfare mother, a crack ho, or a gang member. (Heck, recycling even has the word 'cycling' in it.) $7 per new bike is really not much money for someone who could afford a $500-$5,000 bicycle. So, do I try to tax someone who already helps take care of the environment, or do I tax someone who needs the $7 for something more important, like cigarettes and lottery tickets.

    Let's face it folks, as silly as I make this sound, this IS the way a lot of politicians think.

    If I bother those who don't do anything, they might become upset, yell, and make me look like I don't care (Of course, I don't care, but I don't want it to look like I don't care.). I'll just go back to the camels (US) who are already carrying most of the load, and I'll just add one more little straw. What'll it hurt.
     
  14. neil0502

    neil0502 New Member

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    Alright, I'll bite . . . and I'll jump on my soap box, too (as a citizen of the world, rather than as a San Diegan):

    You'd also think they'd be encouraging alternative-fuel transportation, generally, rather than giving huge tax breaks to people who drive the biggest of the big SUV's, but they don't.

    Big Oil has a stranglehold on this country. If the government raised CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) by some reasonable number of MPG, we could end our dependence on Middle East oil. Think about it: no need to invade Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar . . . anybody . . . ever. Reduced greenhouse gasses. Eliminate global warming. Don't turn the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge into a shooting range for Exxon/Mobil, etc., etc.

    Oil is a finite resource. Supply is limited. Our demand just continues to escalate. The government could take a position to help us "connect the dots" and see the impact of our choices on each other, the cost of living, geopolitics, and the environment. But they are basically a catering company whose only clients are large corporations . . . and you dance with the one who brung you.

    So . . . what the government should be doing and what they will do are polar opposites. If we let them.
     
  15. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    Despite the impression you might get hanging around here, the $1000 and up range accounts for a pretty small percentage of bike sales. For the people who's only affordable transportation option is a $100 bike from WalMart, $7.00 does make a difference.
     
  16. Dweezle

    Dweezle New Member

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    In Seattle, people don’t know what to do when they want to get rid of a bike. You can’t just put them into the regular city solid waste. If you put one in your garbage can, the city won’t pick it up.

    A common, but annoying method of bike disposal is to find a public bike rack somewhere, lock your bike to it, and just leave it there. I’ve seen bike racks with abandoned bikes locked to them for months and years. The bikes eventually get vandalized, and then you wind up with a Kryptonite lock holding a piece of frame to a bike rack. All the parts are long gone, wheels bent and smashed. It takes the city forever to come around and cut the lock and haul the garbage away.

    The thing that always puzzles me is why, if you just intend to abandon a bicycle in public, why the heck do people lock it to a bike rack? Why not leave it unlocked, with key attached to the lock so that the kid or homeless guy who wanders off with it can have the whole setup?

    And then the City Council doesn’t understand why bicyclists complain about the lack of bicycle parking.

    [font=&quot]So maybe this plan isn't it, but some sane method of disposing of old bicycles would be a good idea.. [/font]
     
  17. jstraw

    jstraw New Member

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    Yes. Because if it makes a difference to all the people buying cheap bikes, kids bikes...*commodity* bikes...and they start shifting their purchases to online retailers...then it's going to end up closing the value added LBS's where you go to buy your nice rides.
     
  18. misfit

    misfit New Member

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    for your $7., $3. actually goes to the proposed program. the left over $4. goes to the sacramento beaurocrates. :confused: "as stated in article":(

    (yea,,i need a spell checker,,,)
     
  19. Monument Man

    Monument Man New Member

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    California should be PAYING people to buy bikes, like by allowing them to deduct the cost of the bike from their income especially if they can prove to use the bike for commuting.

    We shoudl not be discouraging anybody from riding a freaking bicycle.
     
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