Thursday, January 17, 2008

Council Resolution: Bikers Deserve Tax Break (Updated Below)

The City Council Wants to Exempt Employer Benefits to Cyclists

Tomorrow, the Los Angeles City Council is expected to pass a resolution urging the federal government to change federal law to provide tax breaks for bike commuters. Currently, employers are allowed to subsidize parking, provide transit tickets tax-free (up to a certain amount) and provide a refund for carpool drivers based on VMT. No such benefit exists for cyclists.

The Bicycle Commuters Benefits Act of 2007, s. 858, seeks to change that by allowing employers to provide an extra benefit to bike commuters tax-free. Some of the things an employer could provide include: a bike, accessories and safety equipment, life and personal property insurance premiums, and locker rental.

The City Council resolution was authored by Transportation Committee Chair Wendy Greuel. No California Senator has yet sponsored S. 858.

Update, Friday at 3:45: I just spoke to someone in the City Clerk's office who confirmed that the motion passed by consent.

1 comment:

DAYMEN said...

Got an email earlier today from Monica Howe at the Los Angeles County Bike Coalition:

It just makes sense that bicycle commuters should receive the same incentives as transit and carpool users. A bike is a great commute option for a lot of people and produces no emissions. And the benefits provided for in the Bicycle Commuter Act would be a win for both the employer and employee: Employers get a tax break and a way to encourage a healthy habit, while employees get reimbursed for doing something that’s fun and frees them from sitting in traffic. LACBC strongly encourages the City of Los Angeles to pass this resolution and show public support for the Bicycle Commuter Act. If the car capitol can get behind it, then surely the rest will follow.