your government at work:
The SFBC is happy to announce that after seven years of slogging, the federal Bicycle Commuter Benefit suddenly became a reality last week as part of the $850 billion bailout bill signed by the President on Friday. The “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008” contains language (scroll to p. 205) that will amend the U.S. Tax Code to permit employers to reimburse employees, tax free, for “reasonable” expenses related to bike commutes, including bike and equipment purchases, repairs, and storage if the bicycle is used as a “substantial part” of the commuter’s trip to work for the month. The benefit option will go into effect for tax year 2009 (so start saving those receipts come January). Thanks to Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer and Senator Ron Wyden for their years of work on this initiative (though, as it happens, neither Blumenauer nor Wyden voted in favor of the massive bailout bill!).