Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Finally – it pays to ride a bike

The federal Bicycle Commuter Benefit suddenly became a reality last week as part of the $850 billion bailout bill signed by the President on Friday. The "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008" contains language (scroll to p. 205) that will amend the U.S. Tax Code to permit employers to reimburse employees, tax free, for "reasonable" expenses related to bike commutes, including bike and equipment purchases, repairs, and storage if the bicycle is used as a "substantial part" of the commuter's trip to work for the month. The benefit option will go into effect for tax year 2009 (so start saving those receipts come January). Thanks to Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer and Senator Ron Wyden for their years of work on this initiative (though, as it happens, neither Blumenauer nor Wyden voted in favor of the massive bailout bill!).

Turns out I won’t be able to take too much of a tax break for that disc wheel I got or the $3,500 new Ridley Dean TT bike.  It’s capped at $20 a month x number of ‘qualified’ commuting months, which for me is every month.  I’m looking forward to that $240 write off! 

If you read the whole bill it’s 451 pages but if I tried writing my term papers with as fat a margin as Congress writes their bills, I’d have easily kicked out 200 page term papers. 

 

Check out my favorite nutrition company – the Lean1 is the greatest stuff for getting a few lbs shed!

7 comments:

tks said...

because bike commuting tax credits are essential to bailing out wall street.

tks said...

and i'm pretty sure it's $20/month. still ridiculous.

Greg Remaly said...

Where I worked in Incline Village, they would pay us $3 for every day that we came to work by bike, on foot, or by carpool. That was pretty cool.

I'm in favor of financial incentives for bike-commuting. beyond not having to pay for gas and upkeep on your car, of course.

Ben said...

$20 a day would be 5k for the year, and that's pretty sweet. Except that you work at home now, so you get... zero.

Loren Pokorny said...

I believe the actual language equates to $20 a month. How's that for lowering our demand for oil! I'm inspired. Not.

Sarah said...

i still don't get how that is related to the wall street bailout.

Ben said...

The same way tax breaks for Run makers is related: not at all.