After seven long years, the bicycle commuter tax provision has finally passed both the House and Senate as part of the financial bailout package. President Bush has said that he is eager to sign the legislation. “We are delighted that the bicycle commuter benefits act has passed after a lengthy and persistent campaign spearheaded by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR),” said League President Andy Clarke. “Bicycle commuters will now be extended similar benefits to people who take transit and drive to work – it’s an equitable and sensible incentive to encourage greater energy independence, improve air quality and health, and even help tackle climate change. Thanks to everyone who has helped reach this milestone, especially Walter Finch and Mele Williams, our government relations staff over the years who have worked tirelessly with Congressman Blumenauer, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and many others in Congress.” Thanks also to all of you around the country who have contacted your congressional leaders over the years. Keep checking back at www.bikeleague.org as we work on the implementation process.
The Bicycle Commuter Act was added on to last week’s bailout bill and will provide a $20 tax credit per month to employers of bike commuters. The credit is intended to go toward adding provisions for bike commuters, like racks and locker rooms, for those who decide to go car free. However, many are decrying the act because it is part of an assortment of pork added to the bailout that some find frivolous--other items of which include tax credits for NASCAR track owners, film companies, and manufacturers of wool clothing.