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State lawmaker defends bike tax, says bicycling is not good for the environment

Representative Ed Orcutt (R – Kalama) does not think bicycling is environmentally friendly because the activity causes cyclists to have “an increased heart rate and respiration.”

This is according to comments he made in an email to a constituent who questioned the wisdom of a new bike tax the legislature is considering as part of a large transportation package.

We spoke with Rep. Orcutt to confirm the email’s authenticity and to get further clarification.

“You would be giving off more CO2 if you are riding a bike than driving in a car,” he said. However, he said he had not “done any analysis” of the difference in CO2 from a person on a bike compared to the engine of a car (others have).

“You can’t just say that there’s no pollution as a result of riding a bicycle.”

He said the email, which he had not reviewed since he is away from from his computer for the day, must have come from a constituent who disagrees with him (UPDATE: Cascade has posted the full exchange, which was with Dale Carlson, owner of BikeTech in Tacoma).

“Somebody doesn’t like me, and that’s fine,” he said.

He also stands by his opinion that people who bike do not pay for roads when they ride.

“When you are riding your bicycle, tell me what taxes are being generated by the act of riding your bicycle,” he said. “Sales tax does not go into roads.”

That people who bike don’t pay for roads is demonstrably untrue. Most roads people bike on are paid for by counties and municipalities. In Seattle, gas taxes pay just four percent of the SDOT budget (as of 2009). Most of the rest comes from sources everybody pays, no matter how they get around. On a state level, gas taxes only pay for one quarter of the WSDOT budget.

As for the transportation package, he said the amount of money that would end up going to bike lanes is higher than the amount raised by the proposed bike tax.

“You’re asking for a whole lot more back than what you’re going to put in,” he said (we responded to this point here).

Here’s the full email (at link)

by Anonymousreply 5303/05/2013

 

by Anonymousreply 103/03/2013

respiration and combustion are completely different processes and are not related at all - humans basically "scrub" the air of oxygen releasing effectively the same amount of CO2 they breathe in - combustion engines generate CO2 as a by-product in large amounts, there really is no comparison at all.

by Anonymousreply 203/03/2013

who the fuck is this? and where the fuck is this idiot from?

by Anonymousreply 303/03/2013

And everyone laughs at Mississippi's Legislature, the barn full of hissing possums!

Washington State apparently has a barn full too.

by Anonymousreply 403/03/2013

of course this guy is a republican

by Anonymousreply 603/03/2013

R5, hmmm . . .

by Anonymousreply 703/03/2013

[quote]barn full of hissing possums!

I like this. (I'd say opossum)

by Anonymousreply 903/03/2013

[quote]Okay, that's just weird... I posted that link in a DIFFERENT thread, but it disappeared from there.

Just stop! Are you going out of your way to screw up dozens of threads tonight? This obviously wasn't a mistake going by your posts in other threads. You really need to get back on your meds.

by Anonymousreply 1003/03/2013

That is fuckin hilarious! Republicans are THE dumbest people on the entire planet.

by Anonymousreply 1103/03/2013

R11, they may be stupid but if they look like R5 then I'll give them a pass

by Anonymousreply 1203/03/2013

[quote]He also stands by his opinion that people who bike do not pay for roads when they ride.

Has he ever thought maybe biking is a recreational activity and many cyclists are also motorists? If his justification is that bicyclists don't pay when they bike, would that argument extend to pedestrians? Surely they're not paying for the streets and roads when they're out strolling.

by Anonymousreply 1303/03/2013

This is why we need votes of confidence for every politician...

by Anonymousreply 1503/04/2013

Electric vehicle drivers in the state of Washington are now forced to pay a tax of $100 per year, per EV owned. This is the first degree of what many states are considering a new excise known as vehicle miles traveled tax, or VMT. In the future, it's likely that all U.S. drivers would be required to pay a VMT tax in one form or another.

Getting down to the heart of the matter: The VMT tariff is a direct result of falling fuel revenues. As cars and trucks become more fuel-efficient Americans spend less on gas. This means that states are bringing in less revenue from gas taxes.

Going forward, some states hope to make up these losses by implementing new legislation that would charge drivers per miles driven.

We get fuel efficiency and that results in higher taxes for drivers.

by Anonymousreply 1603/04/2013

How did I know this was going to be a Republican before even reading the article?

by Anonymousreply 1803/04/2013

Republicans are Dinosaurs!!

by Anonymousreply 1903/04/2013

[quote]Electric vehicle drivers in the state of Washington are now forced to pay a tax of $100 per year, per EV owned. This is the first degree of what many states are considering a new excise known as vehicle miles traveled tax, or VMT. In the future, it's likely that all U.S. drivers would be required to pay a VMT tax in one form or another.

No doubt Washington will be the first state to implement it for everyone. Washington never met a tax it didn't implement, except of course for an income tax.

by Anonymousreply 2003/04/2013

State lawmaker defends bike tax, says bicycling is not good for the 'bribed by the oil industry politician'.

by Anonymousreply 2103/04/2013

Of course I have no research to back up what I say, and don't know facts from a pile of dog turds, but if I say it, then it's absolutely true. Why, I'm sure somewhere the Bible talks about carbon dioxide and how thou shalt not ride a bike. Besides, it's gay marriage that causes people to ride bikes and pollute, anyway.

See how easy it is to be Republican?

by Anonymousreply 2203/04/2013

Oh, this is nothing.

Here in Michigan, some Republican legislators want to tax people that drive fuel efficient cars to pay for road repair (very badly needed in this state) because, wait for it, those people drive more miles on less fuel and are thus not paying their fair share of the gasoline tax the state collects to repair roads.

The mind reels.

by Anonymousreply 2403/04/2013

It's not just the stupidity, it's the *confidence* that goes along with it.

by Anonymousreply 2503/04/2013

Well, as more people drive cars using little-to-no gasoline, what model of taxation do you think governments should use to fund road repair?

by Anonymousreply 2603/04/2013

VA just passed a per-year tax on hybrids and the owners are all in a tizzy because they feel they should be celebrated for helping the environment rather than helping to pay for the roads their 2900+ lb cars use.

by Anonymousreply 2703/04/2013

This brought to you by the 'taxes are unconstitutional' Republicant's!

by Anonymousreply 2803/04/2013

Ok, I'll cut to the chase here. Bicyclists fart alot, so that adds methane to the atmosphere.

by Anonymousreply 2903/04/2013

[quote]helping to pay for the roads their 2900+ lb cars use

Yet big ol' gas guzzling SUVs are okay!

by Anonymousreply 3003/04/2013

Figures. Republican. 'Nuff said.

by Anonymousreply 3103/04/2013

I wonder what this lawmaker's real deal is? How much donations does he get from the gas companies? No one can be this stupid.

by Anonymousreply 3203/04/2013

Is it just me, or is this guy confusing carbon dioxide with carbon monoxide?

by Anonymousreply 3303/04/2013

R26, I think if we took away the subsidies that the oil industry gets, that would more than pay for road repairs. I wonder why Ed doesn't suggest that?

by Anonymousreply 3503/04/2013

Hmmm...I'll bet Orcutt's funding comes from the Oil Industry. Think about it.

by Anonymousreply 3603/04/2013

The VA bill was a bipartisan effort, R30, so spare me the standard talking points. The per gallon gas tax is being replaced with a sales tax on fuel (and other sales tax increases), so SUVs will also pay. My point is that hybrid owners can be whiny crybabies, too, which is indicative of why it's nearly impossible to ever raise revenues anywhere. A bike tax is not a bad idea if the goal is to get everyone to pay toward infrastructure (and not for the reasons cited by this numb-nuts in Washington).

by Anonymousreply 3703/04/2013

[quote] bike tax is not a bad idea

you are RIDICULOUS

by Anonymousreply 3803/04/2013

R38 proves the point. Why can't there be shared sacrifice? Want more bike lanes and trails? Put some skin in the game.

by Anonymousreply 3903/04/2013

I agree it is stupid, but with bike riders demanding so much, it isn't surprising that many think they should pay.

by Anonymousreply 4003/05/2013

[quote] Well, as more people drive cars using little-to-no gasoline, what model of taxation do you think governments should use to fund road repair?

Vehicle registration fees or taxes are a start.

by Anonymousreply 4103/05/2013

[quote]respiration and combustion are completely different processes and are not related at all - humans basically "scrub" the air of oxygen releasing effectively the same amount of CO2 they breathe in - combustion engines generate CO2 as a by-product in large amounts, there really is no comparison at all.

That sounds like that thar lernin'...

She's a witch! Burn her!

by Anonymousreply 4203/05/2013

If you think cyclists should pay their fare share to use the roadways, and to have special lanes created, then leave it at that. I wouldn't necessarily disagree, except that many cyclists also use vehicles and pay gas tax, too. Which, I guess, leaves the question of whether or not cycling is recreational and whether or not consideration should be to use public infrastructure money to create bike lanes in the same way you, say, use it to build stadiums or maintain parks. Just don't go on with all this bullshit you pull out of your ass in order to make a point. Use some economic rationale and put the debate in perspective. If you're not an educated politician, then at least have educated advisors (and not patronage appointments on the dole).

by Anonymousreply 4303/05/2013

People without children pay for schools. A taxpayer doesn't have to utilize every single public service just because they're paying for it. There are things you use that others do not and things they use that you do not, but we all pay into the system in the hopes that we can maintain a civilized society.

The only reason someone like me (blue state) wants to cut off the red states is because those assholes think they're the ones keeping the entire country afloat. I want to give them a dose of reality.

by Anonymousreply 4403/05/2013

Thank you, R44, for more eloquently stating what I was attempting to. People pay all sorts of taxes for various public goods, all of which make society better off. Encouraging bike use is meant to discourage over-use of vehicles, with the offset being better health. And here this dipshit says it's not healthy to ride a bike? It frazzles my mind even trying to comprehend how asshats like this guy get elected, and how constituents even listen to him.

by Anonymousreply 4503/05/2013

[quote] It frazzles my mind even trying to comprehend how asshats like this guy get elected, and how constituents even listen to him.

Because they are as stupid, if not even more so, than the asshats they elect.

by Anonymousreply 4603/05/2013

How about a pedestrian tax then? Those stupid, hippie walkers create a lot of wear and tear on sidewalks and aren't paying their fair share in tax to keep them in good repair. Tax the walkers!!!!

Streets are for cars. CARS!!!!!

by Anonymousreply 4703/05/2013

Christ on a fucking crutch I hate that fucking 'wait for it' meme.

Fucking hate it.

by Anonymousreply 4803/05/2013

Pedestrians are not vehicles. But wait for it:

Bikes are.

by Anonymousreply 4903/05/2013

[quote]Pedestrians are not vehicles. But wait for it:

Bikes are.

My post was obviously not serious. But wait for it:

It was a joke.

by Anonymousreply 5003/05/2013

Just a specific comment that makes a general point:

by Anonymousreply 5103/05/2013

OLYMPIA, Wash. March 5, 2013 (AP)

A Washington state lawmaker has apologized for saying that bicyclists contribute to climate change with their heavy breathing.

Republican Rep. Ed Orcutt, of Kalama, is the ranking minority member of the state's House Transportation Committee. He apologized Monday for writing in an email last week that "the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider."

He was responding to bike store owner who was upset about a proposed fee on some new bicycle purchases. Orcutt is a fiscal conservative and believes cyclists should help pay for the upkeep of roads.

Orcutt says he was trying to say that bicyclists don't have a zero carbon footprint but that it was poorly worded.

by Anonymousreply 5203/05/2013

When real news intersects with the realm of the Onion.

by Anonymousreply 5303/05/2013
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