Special Coverage: Bike Commuter Act

Welcome to my special coverage of Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s attempt to add a tax benefit for bike commuters to the U.S. tax code.

Bike Commuter Act, “Hummer tax loophole” up for House vote tomorrow

Posted on February 26th, 2008 at 1:03 pm.

National Bike Summit 07

Blumenauer, shown here at the National Bike
Summit last year, hopes his Bike Commuter
Act will finally fly with lawmakers.
(Photo © J. Maus)

On the heels of record profits by the big five oil companies, U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland) will once again try to enact a tax benefit for bike commuters and close the “Hummer tax loophole.”

The bike commuter tax benefit (a.k.a. the Bike Commuter Act and the Conserve By Bike provision) would amend the IRS code to include “bicycles” in the definition of transportation covered by fringe benefits. The Hummer tax loophole would fix what Blumenauer refers to as “a serious mistake” in the tax code that provides an additional tax break for business purchases of luxury SUVs weighing over 6,000 lbs.[Read more…]

Bike commuter benefit does not survive Senate vote on Energy Bill

Posted on December 14th, 2007 at 3:35 pm.

National Bike Summit 07

Congressman Earl Blumenauer introducing the
Bike Commuter Act on Capitol Hill last March.
(Photo © Jonathan Maus)

The bike commuter tax benefit — which was introduced to Congress by Earl Blumenauer last March and passed a House vote last week — has been stripped out of the Energy Bill by the Senate.

The U.S. Senate passed the Energy Bill yesterday, but not before removing several “green initiatives” included in the bill by the Blumenauer-led Ways and Means Committee.[Read more…]

House passes energy plan despite ridicule over bike commuter benefit

Posted on August 6th, 2007 at 2:39 pm.

[See below for YouTube version of McHenry’s statement.]

Poster that accompanied a statement on the House floor by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) who said bicycles were a, “19th century solution to a 21st century problem.”

[Read more…]

Blumenauer asks for help with Bike Commuter Act

Posted on April 25th, 2007 at 12:18 pm.

(Note: The title of this post was originally, “Benefits fraud may stymie progress on Bike Commuter Act.” I changed it to better reflect the situation.).

I just got an email from Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s legislative assistant Katie Drennan. She said that although there is considerable momentum for the Bike Commuter Act (42 co-sponsors so far), there’s a situation brewing on the Hill that might cause a bump in the road.
[Read more…]

Blumenauer says Bike Commuter Act matter of equity

Posted on March 15th, 2007 at 7:40 am.

Congressman Earl Blumenauer introducing his Bike Commuter Act at the House Office Building. Members of the Oregon contingent in the background.

[Read more…]

Bike Commuter Benefits Act to be re-introduced tomorrow

Posted on March 14th, 2007 at 6:40 am.

Opening Plenary at the Nat'l Bike Summit

Blumenauer at the
Summit opening.

Tomorrow morning, after a speech by Minnesota Congressman Jim Oberstar, Earl Blumenauer plans to re-introduce his Bike Commuter Benefits Act in a press conference on Capitol Hill.

Blumenauer just finished a speech at the opening of the National Bike Summit and he hinted at this news when he confidently said,

“With the congressional shift in Washington, It’s nice to be in a position where I can introduce legislation. The Bicycle Commuter Benefits Act will get a hearing and I think we can get it through this time.”

The Act has been around for years, but went nowhere in the old Congress.
[Read more…]

Action alert: Support the Bicycle Commuter Act

Posted on May 11th, 2006 at 2:46 pm.

If you think bicycle commuters deserve the same tax benefits from employers that already exist for drivers and transit users now is the time to make your voice heard. I just got this urgent call to action from Jessica Roberts at the BTA.
[Read more…]

“Conserve by Bike” in the Energy Bill

Posted on July 29th, 2005 at 4:01 pm.

[I received this information from an inside source in the Oregon bike advocacy scene, I will post a link to the full press release when it is available online.]

This just in from the office of Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore):

‘Conserve By Bike’ Provision Included in Energy Bill
$6.2 Million Pilot Program Designed to Spur Bike Use

WASHINGTON, DC – A new pilot program designed by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D – Ore) has been included into the final version of H.R. 6, the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The initiative, called “Conserve By Bike,” establishes within the Department of Transportation a program to oversee up to 10 pilot projects across the country designed to conserve energy resources by providing education and marketing tools to convert car trips to bike trips…

…Yesterday, the House of Representatives approved the legislation, and the Senate followed suit this afternoon. It is widely expected that the President will sign the legislation in the coming days.