Saanich council approves exemption for electric bikes

Council approves recommendation to restore provincial sales tax exemption for torque-assist electric bicycles

If you’re looking at getting an electric bicycle, Saanich council is about to make them a bit cheaper.

On Monday, council approved a recommendation from the bicycle and pedestrian mobility advisory committee to restore the provincial sales tax exemption for torque-assist – also known as pedal-assist – electric bicycles. The tax break is an incentive for residents to use green transportation.

Coun. Vic Derman, who chairs the committee, said the proposal to restore the previous PST exemption came from a local cycling organization and led to a discussion on what types of electric bikes should be exempt. The committee differentiated torque-assist bikes from cadence-assist and throttle-assist, which are not permitted on district trails.

“After some debate, it was pointed out to the committee that there are electric bicycles that require somebody to do some pedalling and they provide assistance to the pedalling process,” said Derman.

“There are devices that are labelled electric bikes that don’t even have pedals on them. I certainly see them when I’m riding down the [Galloping] Goose and they go flying by – they’re really a little motorcycle and they’re actually not appropriate on the Goose.”

Derman said the committee decided to only recommend tax breaks for electric bikes that are appropriate on district trails, meaning torque-assist electric bikes.

“The committee said instead, ‘These are the bikes that are appropriate to call electric bicycles, and these are the ones that we think should be tax exempt,’” he noted.

Coun. Judy Brownoff thanked the committee for its distinction between different types of electric bikes, noting the ones without pedals can operate at a high rate of speed and can be startling to pedestrians on the trails.

Coun. Fred Haynes said he’s been delighted by his own torque-assist bike, but was unsure how to make clear to the public which types of electric bikes are and aren’t allowed on Saanich trails.

 

Derman indicated the committee is looking to address keeping non-pedal bikes off trails at a later time.

 

 

Just Posted

Bus crash survivor petitions Justin Trudeau to fix road where classmates died

UVic student’s petition well over halfway to 5k signature goal

Ogden Point officially rebranded as The Breakwater District

New signage and logos accompany plans for the area’s future

Former Canadian Chief Justice talks shop in Sidney

Beverly McLachlin served 28 years on the Supreme Court of Canada, including 17 as Chief Justice.

Police arrest two men on Gorge Road East

Traffic has resumed in the area

Sealand was much more than killer whales, says ex-employee

Former Sealasd trainer revisits Sealand of the Pacific in talk

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

Sooke athletes win gold at 55+ Games

Myrtle Acton, 86, leads way with three first place finishes

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

UPDATE: Police probe third threat against a Kamloops high school in eight days

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Charges dropped against Mountie involved in shooting death of Surrey man

‘I feel like I’ve lost Hudson all over again,’ says mom

Most Read