Bailout Bill Includes Bike Commuting Benefit

Remember Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s
long-sought $20 per month tax credit for bike commuters, intended to
extend a benefit to cyclists that motorists have received for decades?
The measure ridiculed by North Carolina Rep. Patrick "Give Me Fossil Fuels or Give Me Death" McHenry?
It didn’t make it into law last year, but it seems the bike commuting
credit has found its way into the latest version of the financial
bailout package.

Section 211 of the
"Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008" allows for a "qualified
bicycle commuting reimbursement" for "reasonable expenses incurred by
the employee during such calendar year for the purchase of a bicycle
and bicycle improvements, repair, and storage, if such bicycle is
regularly used for travel between the employee’s residence and place of
employment."

Other transpo-related items in the bill include
credits for biofuels and other "alternative" mixtures, plug-in electric
vehicles, and what looks like a few goodies for oil and natural gas
producers. Another section includes incentives for green construction
and renewable energy production.

The full text of the 451-page bill, expected to be taken up by the House of Representatives on Friday, is available here. Tell us if you find other items of interest.

  • dbk

    caveat: I haven’t read the bill. But if this bone to bike riders includes a giant side of beef – or an entire cattle ranch – for highway interests, oil companies, and the rest of the fat cats that got us into this mess – then I’m against it.

    What do you think the odds are that it does? (About the same that any bike lane project in LA that actually gets done comes tied to a few extra lanes of traffic being put in at the same time, I’d wager…)

  • Hey, I haven’t read it, but there are other benefits to bicycle commuting of course, which I won’t spell out.

    Here’s a story we received at SustainLane about a woman who has started to commute by bike in L.A. along with her two kids:

    http://www.sustainlane.com/us-city-rankings/articles/one-less-car-on-the-road-in-los-angeles/LTP1NWFDP8N23RUS8QIWDSLKR98X

    Enjoy!

  • Nancy

    Paying $20 to cyclists does not excuse this bill of its awful-ness. I don’t need to be paid to bike anyway.

  • Richard

    There isn’t a section 211 in the copy of the bill that you get when you click on the link above.

  • Richard

    Besides, $20 is really insiginificant and is an insult, unless its $20/day.

  • Drew

    I just looked at the bill. The “Transportation Fringe Benefit to Bicycle Communters” begins on page 205 of the pdf document. It is listed as Sec. 211 but it’s funny that Sec. 211 is not listed in the table of contents.

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