In early July, Oregon passed a controversial bill that will add a flat rate $15 tax to all new bikes with 26-inch or larger wheels and a price tag of greater than $200. The idea behind the bill is to use the money gained from the bike tax to improve bike infrastructure, mainly focusing on commuting, within the state. Santa Cruz has just announced that for any Santa Cruz or Juliana bike bought for the remainder of 2017, they will match the $15 bike tax and put that money into three different trail advocacy groups around the state – the Northwest Trail Alliance (NWTA), the Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA), and Team Dirt.
"The whole thing seemed like a bad deal for Oregon cyclists in general and mountain bikers in particular," said Santa Cruz Bicycles CEO Joe Graney. "It doesn't look like any of the money collected from the sale of mountain bikes will actually benefit mountain bikers, so we thought we'd try and do something to ease the pain of our northern neighbors."
Advocacy in Oregon is nothing new for Santa Cruz; as part of the company's sponsorship of the Trans-Cascadia enduro race, its employee-based Factory Racing Team has logged more than a 350 hours of trail work in the state over the last two years on trails near the towns of Oakridge and Ashland.
Santa Cruz will send a kick off check for $1,000 to each of the trail organizations on October 5th—the day retailers start collecting the tax–and then send monthly dividends through the end of the year. Santa Cruz will be working with dealers to account for bikes sold for the duration of the promotion.