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“Outrageous” to repeal tax break for 850,000 U.S. bicycle commuters, Rep. Blumenauer says


There is no more staunch defender of the Bicycle Commuter Tax Benefit, a current federal provision that allows people to exclude (a whopping) $20 a month from taxable income for “expenses related to regular bicycle commuting.”

So when emerged that the Senate GOP’s tax plan would kill it, while retaining a $255 monthly commute benefit for parking cars, we knew Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer would have something to say about it. After all, he authored the current benefit and championed its passage in 2008. To Blumenauer, it’s a simple matter of equity.

“Stop the discrimination against people who burn calories instead of fuel,” he shared with a room full of advocates on Capitol Hill at the 2007 National Bike Summit.

Now the Senate GOP wants to renew that discrimination.

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Here’s the section from page 34 of the “Tax Cut and Jobs Act” (PDF):

This morning Blumenauer said this is “outrageous”:

“This is reflective of the larger GOP tax plan—taking something away from working Americans to pay for massive tax breaks for the 1 percent and their kids. With over 850,000 cyclists regularly commuting to work, there is absolutely no reason to wipe out incentives for one of the cleanest, healthiest, and environmentally friendly modes of transportation that exists today. This is outrageous. The Senate should drop this misguided proposal and work to improve the bike benefit.”

10 years after he fought to pass the bike commuting tax benefit, now he’s fighting to save it.

Keep it up Earl. We’ve got your back.

UPDATE: The League of American Bicyclists has issued an action alert to save the Bike Commuter Benefit.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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