Bicycling would be a boost to your paycheck if cycling advocates have their
A Congressman from Oregon is looking to extend the tax breaks afforded to workers
who drive or take mass transit to work to those who commute by bicycle, the
Associated Press reports.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) co-sponsored the Bike Commuter Act, which would
extend the Transportation Fringe Benefit to cover bicyclists. Currently, employees
can use the benefit offered by their employers for up to $180 for qualified
parking and $100 for mass transit on a pretax basis, the AP reports.
"Why should we discriminate in terms of tax treatment for somebody who
is not polluting the air, not causing traffic congestion and not taking away
from our petroleum reserves?" says Blumenauer.
Budget officials tell the AP the measure would cost as much as $114 million
in lost revenue per year. The annual cost of tax breaks for drivers and mass-transit
commuters is $3.7 billion, according to the AP.
Advocates of bicycling say their mode of commuting is growing in popularity
in the U.S., with nearly 1 million workers commuting on a regular basis by bicycle,
according to the League of American Bicyclists.
While the Bike Commuter Act has failed to be passed in the previous years it
was introduced, Blumenauer believes that momentum will help carry the bill through
this time around. Blumenauer is the founder and chairman of the Congressional
Bike Caucus, which has more than 100 members, the news agency notes.
"The momentum is building," he says. "And it's the right thing