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.