A few years ago, the New York Times Green Blog wrote about a little-known tax break that was buried behind the House Resolution 1424 bill. The writer jokingly says “all it took was a global financial meltdown” for people to see the positives in biking to work.
Fast forward two years and for the most part this tiny line item in that giant bill hasn’t received nearly as much attention as it should.
Qualified employees who bike to work can take home $20 a month. And considering our big cities across the nation are becoming more and more bicycle friendly it is pretty hard to say no to an extra $240 a year.
Former President Bush signed the Bicycle Commuter Benefits Act which gives each commuter a tax break and credit for their environmentally sound commuting decision.
The money can be used to purchase, store, maintain or repair bikes that are used for a substantial portion of an employee’s commute. Tip: You do have to commute by bike at least three times a week and your employer has to be a part of the program. All employers are eligible, and by doing this for their employees they are also entitled to a federal tax break.
Of course, by biking to work, you are saving gas money as well. To figure out how much money biking to work can save you, check out the Bicycling to Work calculator. The average driver, which commutes around 30 miles round trip, is saving around $40 a week if they bike to work at least three days. During an average month, that’s about $160 bones!
Of course, that is a lot to ask of a novice biker, but there are several other benefits to biking to work. A book creatively called Bike To Work talks up some of those benefits – including the positive affect it has had on the waistline.
Biking is an easy way to go green, save green and even make green. What do you think?