Tucked into the massive $700 billion financial rescue bill Congress passed earlier this month is a law that should gladden the hearts of physical fitness enthusiasts and environmentally conscious employees. The Bicycle Commuter Act makes employees who ride their bikes to work eligible for a $20-a-month, tax-free reimbursement from their employers for bicycle-related expenses.
The measure, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2009, will work just like more familiar parking and other commuting-cost subsidies that some employers provide to workers. It's an , and no employer is required to offer it.
HR pros whose companies decide to offer the program will have to decide how to administer it. The Internal Revenue Service is expected to develop technical guidance and tax regulations in the next several months.
The new law is intended to help defray bike commuting costs—including the costs of buying a bicycle, lock and helmet—and help pay for bike parking fees, shower facilities and general bike maintenance. The high price of gas made it a no-brainer for Congress to pass the bill this fall, according to Capitol Hill watchers.
Some employers already offer perks to bicyclists:
- The city of Palo Alto, Calif., offers bicycle commuters $20 per month in taxable cash benefits if they commute by bicycle to 60% or more of their scheduled shifts.
- Google, at its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters, offers employees bike tune-ups once a month.
- Discovery Communications reimburses employees $350 for a bike, and it designed its three offices in the Washington, D.C., area as "bicyclist friendly," with secure bike racks, day lockers and showers.
- Yahoo! has bike lockers and showers at its Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, Calif., buildings and a "bike buddies" matching program so employees can share bicycle commuting tips and trips.
The measure is expected to add a $1 million drop in the debt bucket, according to the League of American Bicyclists, one of the advocacy groups that has been pushing for the legislation for about seven years.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/6957/new-benefit-bike-commuters-get-reimbursement-incentives "
- An e-mail from the EEOC? Don't be so sure; Agency warns of phony 'Trojan horse' virus
- New worry: 'Mob' charges for hiring illegals
- 4 ways to boost minority retirement savings
- Frivolous lawsuit? You'll need patience
- Your best defense against failure-to-hire suits: Sound hiring process, complete documentation