You Won’t Believe What They Want To Tax Next…
At a recent town hall in Portland, Oregon, a panel of environmentalists and state legislators fluffed around about new environmental policies and legislation. One panelist, Quinn Read, of Oregon Wild, brought up the idea of 3 new things to tax; hiking boots, binoculars, and birdseed. Yes, birdseed.
Again, these people literally want to tax birdseed, to fund more wildlife preservation projects.
Former state representative Katie Eyre tells Progressives Today: “When I served in the Legislature, the birdseed tax was lobbied by conservationists empathetic to the plight of birds suffering from changes to their natural habitats. This group included an owner of a small chain of stores that sells bird-related items. By assessing the tax on bird seed, and having these specific tax collections set aside for the specific conservation purpose, the promoters of this new tax felt that it was a self-assessment on a common cause near and dear to their hearts. Two problems with this: It created a new “program” which always includes new administrative costs and the expansion of government and it wasn’t clear if all buyers of bird seed agreed with the conservation efforts.”
Also at the town hall, a gentleman from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance was advocating for redefining “road”, “bike path”, and the gas tax, so they can “bypass the [state] Constitutional restrictions” in order to funnel gas taxes toward more bike and pedestrian projects. Yes, that’s right, they want to take money from the people who use the roads, and use it for non road projects.
Eyre tells us: “Any Constitutional amendment should be for the most precious issues of policy. Redefining “roads” to include bike paths seems to be a maneuver solely to invade limited and eroding gas tax funds. Do we really want to amend our Constitution in order to manipulate access to limited funds which already have sufficient needs for which they can be spent?”
This just happens to be taking place at a time when the Portland city council is trying to ram through a citywide street fee/tax.