Last week the Senate Finance Committee approved a package of tax provisions which included restoring the transit pretax benefit for commuters to the same level drivers enjoy. The tax benefit transit commuters enjoyed was slashed December 31 to pre-2009 levels due to Congressional inactivity; falling back to $130 from $245 while the parking benefit increased by $5 to $250. The change will allow all commuters whose employers offer transit benefits, allowing them to write-off the amount of money that they spend a month on transportation. The extension will last through 2015 and is retroactive to January 1.
New in this bill is a first-ever tax benefit for commuters using employer subsidized bike share, thanks to a Chuck Schumer-Mark Warner amendment that sailed through on a voice vote. The benefit lets cyclists take a $20 monthly tax deduction on membership fees for bike-share systems. The League of American Bicyclists President Andy Clarke said the vote shows a "simple, symbolic, and welcome recognition of this emerging new player in the urban transportation landscape."