The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Monday, July 8, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Give bike riders a break on car tabs

I'm tired of reading letters from people who want to tax/license bicycles. Instead of taxing bicycles, I have a better idea. If a bicycle owner can demonstrate that they use their bike for commuting purposes and they own a car, then he/she should get a 50 percent discount on their car license tabs and on their auto insurance.
After all, they eliminate oodles of carbon emissions and other air pollutants that the rest of us won't have to breathe. They eliminate physical pollutants like rubber from car tires, brake filings, and spilled oil that won't wind up in the water thereby improving fishing and recreational tourism in the area. They reduce traffic congestion making car travel more efficient for everyone else. They reduce wear on our roads thereby reducing everybody's taxes. They make themselves more fit and less likely to tax the health system with a host of health problems.
I'm probably leaving out some other benefits. I commuted to work one spring and summer season on my bike on a 12-mile commute. You should give it a try and then maybe you'll appreciate the risk they take sharing the road with you. Get off their back and get on a bike.

Alan Shank
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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor:

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Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at or 425-339-3472.