Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) announced his plans to re-introduce the Bike Commuter Benefits Act. The bill would amend a section of the IRS code to include bicycles in the definition of transportation covered by fringe benefits. If passed, it would provide strong financial incentives for employees to bike to work. Currently, employers may offer a Transportation Fringe Benefit to their employees for commuting to work. Employees who take advantage of this benefit may receive a tax exemption benefit totaling $190/month for drivers participating in qualified parking plans, or $100/month for transit or van pooling. The Bike Commuter bill would add bicycling to the Transportation Fringe Benefit.
Similar bils have been introduced by Blumenauer and others in the recent past but have always languished in committee. Hopefully, the bill will get some traction in 2007.