State-Subsidied Five Boro Bike Tour

This story was interesting. The Five Boro Bike Tour is a 40 mile cycling race. The Five Boro Bike Tour recently won a lawsuit, so that it would qualify as a tax-exempt charitable organization. Why does that matter? By qualifying as a “charity”, they receive a $1M State subsidy.

The Five Boro Bike Tour is getting city streets closed for its race. Why is that a problem? The cost of closing the streets and police overtime is $1M. If the Five Boro Bike Tour is not a charity, they must pay this fee. By qualifying as a charity, they don’t have to pay the fee.

Superficially, you might say “Good for them! Why should they have to pay the fee?” The problem is that everyone else pays higher taxes, to pay the $1M police fee. In effect I’m paying $0.15 more in taxes so they can have a free cycling race. You might say “So what? $0.15?” When you multiply it by all the things government wastes money on, it becomes a lot.

If a group of people wanted to steal $0.15 from every person in NYC on their own, that would be impractical. When the government does it for you via taxes, it becomes profitable.

Whenever government spends money for a specific group of people, that isn’t free. All the people not in that group pay higher taxes to compensate. The people who want to participate in the race should have to pay for the cost of closing the streets to accommodate them. If that makes the event not financially viable, then it was a waste of resources that shouldn’t have happened.

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