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Bike commuter legislation update

by Richard Masoner

When the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the landmark energy legislation about two weeks ago, they also included the bike commuter tax benefit. The Commuter Benefit for bicyclists amends the IRS code to include “bicycles” in the definition of transportation covered by fringe benefits so that employers can receive a tax benefit to provide $20 per month in incentives to employees who bike to work. This would be under the same program by which employers provide transportation benefits such as Commuter Checks and EcoPass programs for public transit.

The House and Senate are now meeting to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of the Energy Bill. Contact your U.S. Senator and ask them to support inclusion of Bike Commuter benefits in Senate Bill 1419, the “Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007.”

In other bike commuter news, the California Complete Streets Bill (AB1358) has passed its Assembly Vote and is now making its way through the Senate. This bill is the highest legislative priority for the California Bicycle Coalition and has been endorsed by several California bike advocacy organizations. For more information, visit the California Bicycle Coalition legislation information page.

AB 1358 requires the legislative body of a city or county, upon revision of the circulation element of their general plan, to identify how the jurisdiction will provide for the routine accommodation of all users of the roadway including motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, individuals with disabilities, seniors, and public transportation. The bill also directs the Office of Planning and Research to amend guidelines for the development of general plan circulation elements so that the building and operation of local transportation facilities safely and conveniently accommodate everyone, regardless of their mode of travel.

 
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2 Responses to “Bike commuter legislation update”

  1. Mark says:

    I’m trying really hard not to get myself all worked up in a frenzy over this. As far as I know, this is the farthest along a bicycle commuter act has made it to date. You can ask my wife, I get stirred up to a frenzy every year around tax time, when I notice you can take a deduction for driving a hybrid car but I get nothing for riding my bike! Hopefully, the differences between the bills can get ironed out and the end result will include something for bike commuters. Now, assuming this thing can pass and doesn’t get vetoed, I’ll need to bug work to support the deduction…

  2. John Paul Hudson says:

    About time I understand that the house and senate produced that 700 billion boondoggle with a 135 billion sweetener and the Bicycle commuter tax credit was porked into the sweetener deal. Were both signed into law yesterday?

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