“What is the senate thinking?” asks PeopleforBikes as bike benefits stripped in favour of car-centric policy

In the United States the Senate has today voted to withdraw the $20 per-month
tax benefit available for those who bike to work while maintaining both the $255 per-month parking and transit benefit.

Prior to this morning’s decision, PeopleforBikes had rallied the bicycle industry’s leading brands in a collaborative call to maintain the tax benefit. Those signing the letter included the likes of SRAM, Trek, Giant, Interbike, ASI, Saris, Shimano and the NBDA.

Further to the industry letter, 20 national organisations leaned on the senate to keep the biking benefit. These included Military Outdoors, Rails to Trails, Safe Kids Worldwide, the Outdoor Industry Association and many more.

“What is the Senate thinking? Why single out a modest incentive that encourages people to bike to work, increasing community health and reducing congestion, while maintaining a significantly larger and more expensive incentive for people to drive?” said Tim Blumenthal, President of PeopleForBikes.

“We encourage the conference committee to include this popular and common sense bike tax benefit as the House did in its version of the bill,” added Blumenthal.

The two letters to the Committee of Finance prompt some consideration for the fact that ridership has been increasing and by more than 50% over the past ten years and that this is in part down to incentives like the $20 bicycle commuter benefit.

PeopleforBikes point out that the annual cost to the treasury is just $5 million, something that is vastly outweighed by associated health and social benefits.