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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Big, bad bikers

I yield to no one in my dislike of taxes and fees. But motorcycle riders converge on the capital to protest a  $10 fee?

A bunch of bikers converged on the Statehouse last week, sporting black leather jackets, impressive Fu Manchus and a beef with a law that legislators passed last year.
The law funded spinal cord and brain injury research by slapping a $10 fee on motorcycle registrations. Lawmakers passed the measure in the final days of the 2007 session, tucking it into the massive state budget bill.
They passed the fee quietly, but motorcyclists across the state have been complaining loudly about being singled out ever since. They've fumed to the media, to lawmakers and to the governor, a Harley rider himself.
On Wednesday, dozens of motorcyclists, looking like middle-aged extras from "Easy Rider," came to the Statehouse to support House Bill 1318, which would eliminate the $10 fee. They showed up on the same day the House Roads and Transportation Committee held a hearing on the bill.
Big, bad motorcycle riders. Boo-hoo, please don't make us pay that $10! It's so unfair! Hey, how much would that motorcycle helmet cost, you know, the one the state does not make you buy to protect yourself, even though they make us wimpy car drivers protect ourselves with seat belts?


Mon, 01/28/2008 - 11:28am

Those motorcyclists sure have an effective lobby though.

mark garvin
Mon, 01/28/2008 - 11:38am

And thus freedom erodes. Having had your own freedoms (as a driver, restaurant patron, smoker, etc) foolishly limited by the nanny state, you are abandoning thre good fight in favor of the short term satisfaction of seeing someone else picked upom by the planners of our Great Society. Use the force, Leo, and move back from the Dark Side. Reject the vicarious thrill of and base satisfaction of watching someone else lose their footing on the slippery slope, and get back in the fight.

There is so much wrong with that legislatiuon that it is hard to know where to begin. Laughing at it's primary victims isn't the place.

How about a tax on ballet slippers to pay for toe injuries?

Leo Morris
Mon, 01/28/2008 - 12:22pm

I'm not any more in favor of the nanny state than I ever was. This just seems like a small-potatoes fight.

tim zank
Mon, 01/28/2008 - 1:06pm

You know it seems "small potatoes" but it really isn't. It's patently unfair too. There are government research programs and grants for damn near anything and the last thing anybody needs is another freakin tax to support a program "for the good of society". There is a moron legislator in New Mexico introducing a tax on video games, the money going to reduce obesity among kids. A noble if not wholly misguided effort.

We can't simply tax the bejesus out of everything for every cause...I have a son with Crohn's Disease, obviously he has diet issues, but instead of us watching want he eats, I would rather we added a nominal tax to all pizza and mexican foods to further research for medication and treatment. You guys wouldn't mine paying a little more would you so he won't suffer the indignity of not having pizza after the game on Fridays??

mark garvin
Mon, 01/28/2008 - 4:20pm

For some, the potatoes are always small so long as they belong to someone else. Would a $10.00 per subscription tax on newspapers, to fund computer training for the elderly, be trivial?