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Blumenauer Announces Inclusion of Bike Commuter Benefit in Final Version of Ways & Means Energy Bill
Expects Bill to be considered by Full House in July
On June 20, the Ways and Means Committee passed an energy bill with a modified version of the Bike Commuter Act, H.R.1498, legislation introduced earlier this year by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.). The bill also provides communities with financing for bike trails. Congressman Blumenauer, who serves on the Committee and is Chair of the Congressional Bike Caucus, hailed the passage of the bill and expects it to be considered by the full House in July.
"Today the Committee passed an important environmental bill that demonstrates a renewed commitment to the environment," said Congressman Blumenauer. "Among other things, the bill provides cyclists with a fringe benefit - a smart and fair way to level the playing field for people who burn calories instead of gasoline. There is no reason why only those who drive to work should receive benefits. More than 50 percent of our working population lives within 5 miles of where they work, and it only makes sense to encourage a healthier, greener generation of people who bike to work."
The Commuter Benefit for bikers amends section 132(f) of the IRS code to include "bicycles" in the definition of transportation covered by fringe benefits. Included in the Ways and Means energy bill is a benefit of $20/month for those employees who bike to work, which is a clean, healthy and efficient mode of transportation. The provision is based on H.R. 1498, legislation introduced by Blumenauer earlier this year.