Peddler’s Tax

By Mayor Mike Halfacre, Fair Haven

Today, Governor Christie will deliver his State of the State Address, wherein he will lay out his accomplishments over the past year, and set forth his agenda for the coming year. He faces many challenges, as do the taxpayers of the State of New Jersey. Unfortunately, many elected officials still don’t get it.

Case in point: On January 6, 2011 New Jersey once again took steps to safeguard its reputation as a laughingstock. No, I don’t mean the introduction of Snooki’s friend Deena, an actual New Jersey native on MTV’s Jersey Shore. Instead, I mean the introduction of A-3657 by Assemblywoman Tucker (28-Newark) in the New Jersey Legislature. Yes, once again NJ reality TV pales next to reality of NJ politics. New Jersey would be the first state in the nation to require bicycle registration.

In the midst the toughest public budget time in memory, when all of Trenton is buzzing with talk of education reform, civil service reform and arbitration reform, and when, for the first time in decades, there is real hope for New Jersey’s taxpayers, Assemblywoman Tucker’s bill takes on the difficult and pressing issue of…unregistered bicycles. Yes, Assemblywoman Tucker wants us to register our bicycles with the MVC. Just like our cars.

I am not making this up. Under the proposed legislation the Director of the MVC will start to issue license plates to bicycles, for a registration fee not to exceed $10.00 per year. Whenever a bike is sold, the buyer must go to MVC and transfer registration and pay sales tax, just like on a car. If you ride an unregistered bike, you could be fined $100.00. (Word is that Assemblywoman Tucker is coming after running shoes next)

I admit, I am a little biased against this ludicrous law. I own bicycles. I have two road bikes, a triathlon bike, a mountain bike, a cyclocross bike, a fixie and a cruiser. My wife has a mountain bike and a cruiser. I have three kids, each with at least one bike. That makes about 12 bikes in my home. Add in the frames without wheels, and the wheels without frames, and I could probably piece together a couple more. Under this law, I’ll have to register each one of them.

A fellow Fair Haven elected official picks up old bikes put out in the trash, fixes them up and donates them to kids who don’t have bikes. At any one time he has dozens of bikes in his garage. Under this law, he’ll have to register each one of them.

Another friend of mine is an avid cyclist, who easily has 25 bikes in his garage. Under this law, he’ll have to register each one of them.

When is enough? When will the nanny-state Democrats “get it”? We are sick and tired of these petty and frankly, stupid laws.

What possible purpose could this law have other than to add another fee or tax onto the backs of New Jersey’s already over-burdened taxpayers? Is there some massive sales tax loss being suffered by the State on the sale of second hand bikes? Or is this a devious attempt to track and identify illegal immigrants?

None of the above. It’s worse.

Here’s the angle: Imagine all the new MVC employees that will be required to handle the volume of paperwork this requirement will generate. All union members.

Posted: January 11th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Mike Halfacre | Tags: | 7 Comments »

7 Comments on “Peddler’s Tax”

  1. Chris said at 11:15 am on January 11th, 2011:

    As a bike racer, I’m not worried just about the fee (I think I heard there is a registration fee at least in one state, somewhere on the West Coast; but I might be wrong). It’s also the license plate… How many cyclists are gonna hang a heavy, wind-resisting license plate on their bikes????

  2. TheDigger said at 11:32 am on January 11th, 2011:

    I propose a new tax on each and every legislator who introduces legislation like this, a tax of $1,000,000 on each and every piece of worthless legislation.

    Either they will stop proposing this nonsense or the state will have enough money to pay its bills.

  3. brian said at 11:56 am on January 11th, 2011:

    The time has come to start ignoring these
    edicts of a government gone wild. A little
    civil disobedience is in order. I suggest all bike owners refuse to comply and just go about our normal business. The police have much better things to do than enforce nonsense. The people united cannot be defeated.

  4. Rick Ambrosia said at 12:24 pm on January 11th, 2011:

    Chris…that could be fun. Like when you were a kid and you got that little itty bitty license plate with your name on it. I can see it now “Mayor Mike” blazened across the back of his 152 bikes.

    The Digger…I like that idea the best.

    Brian – You need to lighten up a tad. While we all know that this is a ridiculous bill, and probably won’t see the light of day, or a vote, you seem to project that this is a done deal. Its really not and hopefully will never be. But c’mon…have a little fun.

  5. James Hogan said at 1:22 pm on January 11th, 2011:

    Heh. You know Brian, it’s an interesting concept, that is a penalty for sponsoring a “frivolous bill”… or maybe we have that — election day. :/

    Maybe call Assemblywoman Tucker and let your voice be heard, and hopefully even listened to?

  6. Chris said at 2:08 pm on January 11th, 2011:

    Brian, that would be fun. Let’s see if a peloton of 15-20 bikers is going down Ocean Blvd, with no license plates, who’s gonna stop them, and how?

    Rick, don’t hold your breath on “this won’t see the light of day”. The law to seize your unused gift cards is very close to seeing that light. And banning alcohol energy drinks is already a law.

  7. db said at 5:24 pm on January 11th, 2011:

    how about using thoes little red stickers that the under 21 drivers were supposed to buy ………..stick them of our forhead