House Passes Bill Including Bike Commuting Frindge Benefits
The House recently passed the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008 (HR-6049). Included in this bill is a transportation fringe benefit for bicycle commuters. Among the benefits are:
- Allow for an employer-paid reimbursement fringe benefit, permitting employers to reimburse employees for reasonable expenses incurred by the employee during the calendar year for the purchase and repair of a bicycle, bicycle improvements, and bicycle storage, provided that the bicycle is regularly used for travel between the employee’s residence and place of employment.
- An annual limitation for an employee for a calendar year would be equal to the product of $20 multiplied by the number of the employee’s qualified bicycle commuting months for the year. The $20 amount would not be indexed for inflation.
In English, I believe this is saying that we could take a tax deduction for bicycle commuting related expenses. The dollar limit would be linked to the total number of employee’s claiming the exemption. If it goes through, it’s time to start beating the drum and convincing co-workers to bike to work.
We’ve seen legislation like this in the past, but to my knowledge it’s never made it past the full congress and signed into law. I get miffed every year when I do my taxes and see that I could take a tax deduction for driving a hybrid vehicle, yet I get nothing for riding a bike! Perhaps this will be our lucky year!