Roads, motor vehicles, and bicycles
Recently, on page 16 of the February 4th Mountain Mail, Councilman Mike Bowers states: "bicyclists did not contribute any money to the upkeep of roads and highways". This statement is wholly incorrect. Whether or not the Mountain Mail recorded his statements accurately, I would like to address the myth that tax-paying bicyclists do not contribute to the road system. Motor vehicle gas taxes and registration fees only pay 1/3 of the cost of our roads. Nationwide in 2010, highway user taxes and fees made up just 32 percent of state and local road expenses. The rest is financed out of general revenues, including federal aid. This is according to the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan research think tank, based in Washington, DC. A 2012 study by the Pew Charitable Trusts broke this down further, stating that the gas tax, a major revenue source for surface transportation, hasn’t generated enough money in recent years to keep pace with the rising cost of construction. And for example, in Oregon in 2009, 90% of cyclists owned cars, which means they're still paying motor vehicle taxes and fees.