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ODOT economist says bike sales up 56% so far this year

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ODOT economist says bike gross sales up 56% thus far this yr

(Supply: Oregon Division of Income)

Whereas most transportation-related income sources have been hit arduous by the pandemic, there’s one seeing document highs.

Bike retailers have been slammed all summer time.
(Picture: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

In a gathering of the Oregon Legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation Wednesday, Daniel Porter, the chief economist for the Oregon Division of Transportation, informed lawmakers the company estimates a success of about $170 million to the State Freeway Fund for the 2020-2021 fiscal yr. The transit tax handed in 2017 has suffered an 8% downward swing in comparison with final yr and the brand new tax on new vehicles and vans is down 10%.

However the bicycle excise tax? It’s means up.

With the bike increase hitting native retailers in a really possible way, we have been curious how the explosion in bike gross sales can be mirrored in Division of Income (DOR) statistics. Now we all know: Porter mentioned there’s been a 56% improve in bike gross sales between April and June of 2020 when in comparison with the identical interval in 2019.

In keeping with their data (primarily based on assortment receipts from retailers) there have been 16,073 new bicycles bought in Oregon in within the second quarter of 2019. This yr there have been 24,997. That’s by far probably the most recorded new bike gross sales for the reason that state started accumulating the tax in April 2018.

“In Might, June, and July, we couldn’t construct bikes quick sufficient.”
— Brad Parker, Metropolis Cycles

At $15 per bike, the tax has generated $480,900 by the primary half of this yr — virtually as a lot as they collected for all 12 months of 2018. When the tax was handed in 2017, analysts estimated it might elevate about $1 million per yr. Porter says overhead and administrative prices to gather the tax have stabilized at about $3,250 per 30 days. Meaning the tax has deposited roughly $461,400 into the Oregon Community Paths program.

Metropolis Cycles proprietor Brad Parker is on the entrance traces of this large gross sales development. He mentioned enterprise was “loopy” from Might to July. “We couldn’t construct bikes quick sufficient… It was like, holy cow!” Parker mentioned gross sales in July 2020 have been up 40% over 2019, and it was almost all new bikes (service and restore revenues have been flat). Fortunately he pre-ordered sufficient bikes to maintain his stock secure so the store may capitalize on the spike in curiosity.

As for the $15 tax, Parker mentioned he and his clients have adjusted to it. With a thick stack of receipts on his desk, Parker expects his subsequent cost (due on the finish of the month) can be appreciable. And now that it’s been just a few years, he mentioned clients have come to just accept it. After they first defined the tax to clients, Parker mentioned some would whip out their telephones to see in the event that they have been making it up. However now, “I’d say just one out of fifty asks for a $15 low cost, however you at all times have folks asking for reductions.”

Total, Parker is completely satisfied to be promoting so many new bikes — particularly as a result of most of them are going to novice, first-time consumers or people who find themselves simply getting again into biking after an extended hiatus. And he’s trying ahead to fall. “We stocked up on tons of fenders, as a result of we bought tons of bikes with out them,” he mentioned.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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