An annual bike share membership is cheap. And for some, it may soon be even cheaper. On June 6th, the Commuter Parity Act was introduced in the House of Representatives which would allow employers to offer a $35 per month tax reimbursement for bike-related activities to each employee, according to Paul DeMaio at the Bike-Sharing Blog.
While the IRS offers employees tax credits for various bicycle expenses, this is the first time that a bill has specifically outlined “bikesharing” as an acceptable reimbursement. With previous legislation, as DeMaio points out, there had been much confusion as to whether or not bike sharing qualified as a reimbursable expense. Some IRS employees believed bike share was covered, others weren’t sure. If the law passes, however, employees using bike share to regularly go from their “residence and place of employment” will eligible for reimbursement of up to $35 per month.
Several companies in New York and elsewhere have already adopted bike share as an employee benefit, recognizing its benefits to employee well-being. And, if the Commuter Parity Act passes, bike share will be an increasingly common benefit provided to employees.
We encourage you to write to your Congressperson and request that they support H.R. 2288: Commuter Parity Act of 2013.