Minnesota taxpayers taken for a ride as the legislature passes $1,500 subsidy for electric bikes

The Minnesota legislature is taking taxpayers for a ride by passing a provision providing a subsidy worth up to $1,500 for people who buy electric bikes, commonly referred to as “ebikes,” with a maximum expenditure of $2 million on the handouts.

Why did the legislature feel compelled to pass this subsidy? Well, ebikes are expensive, with popular models costing between $1,200 and $2,400 per bike. In fact, the best “cheap” ebike still costs $900, which is about 20 percent of the amount many Americans have in their savings accounts.

Under the legislation, the subsidy amount depends on the cost of the ebike and household income. The subsidy can apply to up to 75 percent of the tax credit for households earning up to $50,000, or 50 percent for wealthier households.

The high price tag of ebikes suggests that their owners tend to be affluent people who live in cities, and the data suggests this is true. According to a recent survey of ebike owners, 15.5 percent of respondents had annual household incomes of $150,000 or more, and 17.40 percent had annual household incomes between $100,000 and $150,000.

Like electric vehicle subsidies, tax credits for ebike rebates are largely another form of funneling taxpayer dollars into political pet projects for liberal lawmakers who had total control of a record budget surplus. The recipients will act like they are saving the planet while having no measurable impact on global emissions, and we will all end up paying for their ego trip.