ALBANY, NY (WKBW-Release)
The two proposals, introduced by Assemblyman Michael DenDekker of Queens, would have required all bicycles to be inspected and registered. Riders would have been required to pay a one-time cost of $25 for a license plate for their personal bikes, with a $5 renewal fee each year. Those who ride commercial bikes would pay $50, and also would have to buy insurance.
“These type of ideas are emblematic of Albany at its worst. If downstate legislators can tax something, they will try to do it. There is no more room to impose any additional costs on the already overburdened taxpayers of this state. I am glad the people have spoken out about this ridiculous measure. We need tax relief, not more crazy taxes,” said Senator Young.
Under the proposals, all bikes also would have to pass a safety inspection -- including lamp and equipment requirements -- to get the license. Additionally, anyone under 18 would have to have a special mark on their plate.
Senator Young said the bills (A5429 & A5430) were pulled due to the public outrage from bicycle enthusiasts and others who called it unnecessary and intrusive government regulation.
Seri Johnson from Hollyloft Ski & Bike in Jamestown, NY said: “Bicycling is a healthy, low cost activity we should never make anyone shy away from participating in, simply because of costs/taxes. New York really has to change the attitude of "what else can we tax to bring in more money," to "How can we do more to entice people to come spend their money happily, eagerly, and willingly in New York State?" Instead of added taxes on bicycles, let’s make new measures to create more bike paths for safer riding that will invite more tourism and create more small business opportunities right here in the region.”
Peter Stull, owner of the Bicycle Man in Alfred Station, NY said: "Requiring bicycle licenses will hurt tourism. Rides like the Bon Ton Roulet; Erie Canal Bike Tour and Bike NY that draw thousands of out of state riders will suffer if riders have to get a NY bike license."
"How will a customer test ride a bicycle before purchase? Will the bike shop have to license every bike in their inventory? We have a lot of out of state customers come to buy bicycles. Will they have to buy a NY license with their bike? If a bike rented to tourists is considered a "commercial" bike the insurance requirement may be the end of many rental businesses, further hurting tourism," he added.
David Simpson, treasurer of the Olean Cycle Club, said: “The average person in our club owns around four bikes, so you are talking another $100 just to register these bikes. We are trying to get people to ride, but this would go against all our efforts. Don’t our leaders in Albany have more pressing problems to deal with then imposing another burdensome cost on a simple and healthy activity? It would probably cost more to enforce then it is worth to the state in the first place.”
“Registering bicycles is not the key to our state’s fiscal problems, it is only another slap in the face to our taxpayers. These kinds of crazy ideas need to be stopped in their tracks. We need to be doing positive things in Albany right now that ease the cost of living and that help our struggling families out. Assemblyman DenDekker and his downstate counterparts in the Assembly need to get with the program and focus on the right priorities,” said Senator Young.