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Welcome back, Bicycle Commuter Benefit!
A new and improved Bicycle Commuter Benefit is included in the GREEN Act introduced in the House of Representatives, as part of the finance title to a larger infrastructure package that includes the INVEST in America Act.
The GREEN Act, led by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), includes changes to tax policy to promote sustainable transportation and infrastructure including tax credits for renewable energy, vehicles that reduce greenhouse gasses, and help for families recovering from natural disasters. Mostly importantly to the League, Rep. Thompson, who chairs the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, also included the Bicycle Commuter Act as part of his proposal.
"The League of American Bicyclists thanks Chairman Thompson, as well as Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) of Ways and Means, for reinstating the Bicycle Commuter Act in their GREEN Act," said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. "By encouraging more people to choose biking to work, the Bicycle Commuter Act will be part of the solution to reducing emissions from the transportation sector, the largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions."
We also must thank the original sponsors of the Bicycle Commuter Act, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and the more than 40 other members who co-sponsored the bill that has been incorporated by Charimen Thompson and Neal.
Bicycle Commuter Act included in House Infrastructure Bill
The Bicycle Commuter Act recreates and improves on the bicycle commuter benefit which was suspended under the 2017 tax cuts.
|New BCA||Old BCA|
|Benefit||20% of parking benefit (~$60/month)||$20/month|
|Increases with inflation?||Yes||No|
|Bikeshare membership||Covered||Not covered|
|Able to combine with parking and/or transit benefit?||Yes||No|
|Employer must collect receipts?||No||Yes|
|Can be used towards purchas of e-bike?||Yes||No|
The Commuter Benefit would replace the Bicycle Commuter Benefit originally created by the 2009 Stimulus package, and suspended in the 2017 tax cuts. It also improves the benefit in a few ways:
- The new benefit will equal up to 20% of the parking benefit. This allows an employee to combine the benefit with both transit and parking benefits. It also will mean the benefit will start at roughly $60 a month and increase with inflation.
- It will now be a pre-tax benefit, so employees will designate how much of their pre-tax pay they would like to set aside for the benefit. Employers will not pay the benefit.
- Bikeshare memberships costs, and costs to purchasing an e-bike will be eligible for the program.
- It will reduce the paperwork required of employers.
If the bill passes and the benefit comes back into play it will take a little time for the IRS to work out the details and figure out how the rules will work. Support the INVEST in America Act and making biking better by contacting your Member of Congress today.