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Old 05-30-08, 12:27 PM   #1
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Bicycle Commuter Tax Incentive back in the Senate

The Bicycle Commuter Tax Incentive is back in the Senate.

Here is the article as reposted from the League of American Bicyclists:

Bicycle Commuter Benefit on House Tax Extender Bill

On May 21, 2008, prior to the Memorial Day recess, the House passed H.R. 6049, the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008. Included in the legislation is a $20 per month transportation fringe benefit for bicycle commuters to cover costs of commuting by bike. See text of legislation here Section 127.


We are expecting the Senate finance committee to take up the measure the week of June 2nd, and would like to have the Senators who previously co-sponsored S. 858 (Bicycle Commuters Benefit Act 2007), sign onto a joint letter, being distributed by Senator Wyden, to the Chair and Ranking Member of the Finance Committee asking them to adopt the House provision. Please take a moment to click on the action button to contact your Senator and urge them to sign onto the joint letter. Thank you.


I filled out the document and it only took me a couple minutes. Click Here to Take Action!
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Old 05-30-08, 07:07 PM   #2
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I don't understand how this works if passed. My entire staff commutes by bicycle at least sometimes. Where does the $20 come from?
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Old 05-30-08, 07:29 PM   #3
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Let's keep the goverment out of it.
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Old 05-30-08, 07:32 PM   #4
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I think any tax incentive is great. Think of how many incentives oil and autos have had over the last 50 years. Bike commuting incentives would be a tiny drop in the bucket in comparison.

On the other hand, by riding my bike to work (all on my own incentive,) I save about $7 a day just in gas and parking. That's over $150 a month.

Of course, that doesn't include car payments, car insurance, tag fees, car repairs...



We need to understand that bicycle commuting can be a stimulus to the economy. We've been thinking for the last 50 years that driving a car is a big stimulus for the economy, and it is, in a way.

But every $100 a bicycle commuter saves by not driving a car is $100 he or she can "pump" into the nation's economy.

I see the cash benefits already, regardless of any additional benefits, I'm already ahead of the game.
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Old 05-30-08, 07:47 PM   #5
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Exactly what else is in the bill

H.R. 6049, the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008.

I notice that the title is different and much more expansive than the original. What would we be signing on for.

I wouldn't want more expansive to become more expensive.
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Old 05-30-08, 07:51 PM   #6
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Exactly what else is in the bill

I notice that the title is different and much more expansive than the original. What would we be signing on for.
The same goes for every bill signed into law.
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Old 05-30-08, 07:55 PM   #7
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Do you really want to give tax incentives for the economic development of American Samoa (ie hotels or factories to use the inexpensive labor).

Has anyone read the actual text of this legislation.

No, not all legislation passed has to be a collection of pork......................oink.

I know its something for cyclists but the other stench is unbearable.
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Old 05-30-08, 08:03 PM   #8
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...not all legislation passed has to be a collection of pork......................oink.
Passing legislation without bacon is about as likely as the bubble-boy avoiding a cold without his bubble. Not gonna happen.
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Old 05-30-08, 08:10 PM   #9
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Where was the part about a credit for riding your bike to work?
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Old 05-30-08, 08:33 PM   #10
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Is this what you mean by, "pork?"

Extends through 2009 the tax credit for producing electricity from wind facilities and through 2011 for closed and open-loop biomass, geothermal, small irrigation, hydropower, landfill gas, and trash combustion facilities. Includes marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy as a renewable resource for purposes of such tax credit. Extends through 2014: (1) the energy tax credits for solar energy, fuel cell, and microturbine property; and (2) the residential energy efficient property tax credit. Increases the authorization levels for new clean renewable energy bonds. Allows tax credits for investment in advanced coal electricity and coal gasification projects. Extends through 2018 the temporary increase in coal excise taxes.
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Old 05-30-08, 08:44 PM   #11
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Allows a tax credit against payroll liabilities of New York Liberty Zone governmental units (i.e., New York State, the City of New York, or any agencies or instrumentalities thereof) for expenditures involving transportation infrastructure projects in or connecting with the New York Liberty Zone.

Extends through 2008: (1) the election to deduct state and local sales taxes in lieu of state and local income taxes; (2) the tax deductions for qualified tuition and related expenses and for certain expenses of elementary and secondary school teachers

Extends through 2008 various business-related tax provisions, including: (1) the tax credit for increasing research activities; (2) the tax credits for Indian employment and railroad track maintenance; (3) accelerated depreciation for qualified leasehold and restaurant improvements, for motorsports racing track facilities, and for business property on Indian reservations

the tax deduction for income attributable to domestic production activities in Puerto Rico; (6) the special rule for the tax treatment of certain payments to tax-exempt organizations by a controlled subsidiary; (7) issuance authority for qualified zone academy bonds; (8) tax incentives for investment in the District of Columbia;

Actually, I was thinking more of the above.
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Old 05-30-08, 08:49 PM   #12
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Corey,

Thanks for the heads-up. This might have slipped by me since the Bikeleague (stupidly) doesn't have an RSS feed on their site, and their email newsletters aren't timely enough.
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Old 05-30-08, 08:55 PM   #13
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Did anybody notice that the 20$ is for federal workers who commute to work on a bicycle.......................only federal workers.

This part can be found by following the link in the original text (abbreviated for length) into the sections detailing the expected costs of passing the bill.

Spending Subject to Appropriation
Transportation Fringe Benefits.
The bill would expand the use of transportation fringe
benefits for federal employees to include bicycle commuters. The provision would allow up
to $20 per month for repair expenses, equipment costs, and storage costs for employees who
regularly use a bicycle for commuting purposes. Based on information from the U.S. Census
Bureau, CBO estimates that about 11,000 federal employees currently commute to work via
bicycle. Assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts, CBO estimates that
implementing this provision would cost $2 million in 2009 and $14 million over the 2009-
2013 period.

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Old 05-30-08, 09:22 PM   #14
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Allows a tax credit against payroll liabilities of New York Liberty Zone governmental units (i.e., New York State, the City of New York, or any agencies or instrumentalities thereof) for expenditures involving transportation infrastructure projects in or connecting with the New York Liberty Zone.

Actually, I was thinking more of the above.
Liberty Zone Tax Benefits

April, 2002

Dear Business Owner:



President Bush recently signed into law powerful new federal legislation that creates a "Liberty Zone" in Lower Manhattan (the area south of Canal and Rutgers Streets), and provides significant tax benefits specifically formulated for businesses located in the zone, to help rebuild Lower Manhattan and encourage reinvestment in New York City...


I guess if a hurricane swept through your city, instead of the 911 terrorist attack, you might not be against a "Connecticut Liberty Zone."
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Old 05-30-08, 09:38 PM   #15
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Did anybody notice that the 20$ is for federal workers who commute to work on a bicycle.......................only federal workers.
Well, then let's oppose it on the basis that helping federal workers who commute by bicycle can't possibly benefit the rest of us.



Let's wait for a bill that is absolutely perfect in every way.

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Old 05-30-08, 09:40 PM   #16
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Liberty Zone Tax Benefits

April, 2002

Dear Business Owner:



President Bush recently signed into law powerful new federal legislation that creates a "Liberty Zone" in Lower Manhattan (the area south of Canal and Rutgers Streets), and provides significant tax benefits specifically formulated for businesses located in the zone, to help rebuild Lower Manhattan and encourage reinvestment in New York City...


I guess if a hurricane swept through your city, instead of the 911 terrorist attack, you might not be against a "Connecticut Liberty Zone."
I would be much more sympathetic if it were "significant tax benefits specifically fourmulated for businesses located the the zone, to help rebuild Lower Manhattabn and encourage investment in New York City" as opposed to tax credits to governmental units. To use your hurricane analogy, this is like giving money to FEMA to help rebuild New Orleans.
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Old 05-30-08, 09:47 PM   #17
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I would be much more sympathetic if it were "significant tax benefits specifically fourmulated for businesses located the the zone, to help rebuild Lower Manhattabn and encourage investment in New York City" as opposed to tax credits to governmental units. To use your hurricane analogy, this is like giving money to FEMA to help rebuild New Orleans.


You sit in your armchair criticising FEMA because of their obvious screw-ups, but at least somebody was doing something to help the people New Orleans.

I say better money is wasted helping people than money not spent at all.

The best thing would be to have a government that did nothing at all, unless it was perfect.

But you dodged the point that you said the federal efforts to rebuild the devastated site of the 911 attacks was "pork."

You said, "I would be much more sympathetic if it were "significant tax benefits specifically fourmulated for businesses located the the zone, to help rebuild Lower Manhattabn and encourage investment in New York City" as opposed to tax credits to governmental units. "

Maybe you would be "more sympathetic" if your family was struck by a natural disaster and the government stepped in to help. But let's not suggest that government could do that. That would be like saying we Americans step in to help one another, even if it is through tax dollars.

But this whole discussion between you and I is purely political. You will stand your ground, because you believe in it, and I will stand in disbelief that such a simple step towards promoting bicycle commuting is being opposed by you on political grounds.

I've seen so many political "discussions" over the years, they make me sick. I'm just ready for someone to have the guts and temerity to actually do something, instead of read books and talk.

But to your point,

"I would be much more sympathetic if it were significant tax benefits specifically fourmulated for businesses located the the zone, to help rebuild Lower Manhattabn and encourage investment in New York City as opposed to tax credits to governmental units."


George E. Pataki
Governor



Liberty Zone Tax Benefits

April, 2002

Dear Business Owner:



President Bush recently signed into law powerful new federal legislation that creates a "Liberty Zone" in Lower Manhattan (the area south of Canal and Rutgers Streets), and provides significant tax benefits specifically formulated for businesses located in the zone, to help rebuild Lower Manhattan and encourage reinvestment in New York City.



The Liberty Zone legislation:

Creates a “Liberty Zone Employment Benefit Credit” of $2,400 per employee, similar to the federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit, for Liberty Zone businesses with 200 or fewer employees;


. allows taxpayers to claim a first-year depreciation deduction equal to 30 percent on property located in the Liberty Zone (including buildings and building improvements, if they rehabilitate or replace real property damaged, destroyed, or condemned as a result of the attacks). The additional deduction applies to property purchased after September 10, 2001 and placed in service before December 31, 2006 (or before December 31, 2009 in the case of nonresidential real property and residential rental property);
increases the amount that businesses with smaller capital expenditures may expense under section 179 of the tax code by an additional $35,000, and reduces the portion of the cost of Zone property taken into account when applying the phase-out threshold;
increases the replacement period under section 1033 of the tax code, so that taxpayers would not have to recognize gains from property purchased to replace involuntarily converted (i.e., destroyed or damaged) property located in Lower Manhattan, as long as replacement property is acquired within New York City within 5 years;
provides a 5-year recovery period for depreciation of leasehold improvements in the Liberty Zone for property placed in served after September 10, 2001 and before January 2, 2007; and

authorizes the issuance of up to $8 billion of tax-exempt private activity bonds (“Liberty Bonds”) over the next three years to help renovate and rebuild commercial property, residential rental property and public utility property.
Attached below is a map of the Liberty Zone* and a link to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service* web site that provides more detailed information on these new tax benefits.

Thank you for all you have done to keep your business running in New York City – the business capital of the world. Together, with your help and determination we will prevail.



Sincerely,


George E. Pataki,
Governor



*
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Old 05-30-08, 10:07 PM   #18
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I did not say that at all. I said that the money spent to assist business reinvestment would be much much better than money that the government gives to itself. Using the "devistated site" argument to turn over everything to the government does a great disservice to the business community of New York wich is far more capable of using that money constructively than Charley Rangel is. Charley Rangel gets to drive a Cadillac DeVille paid for by the Government. Oink.
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Old 05-30-08, 10:10 PM   #19
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Well, then let's oppose it on the basis that helping federal workers who commute by bicycle can't possibly benefit the rest of us.



Let's wait for a bill that is absolutely perfect in every way.

Why not push harder for a bill that benefits all bicycle commuters. I don't need perfect but I will demand fair, and not some token flash of leg attached to an expensive collection of lumped together give aways that always cost more than you get.
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Old 05-30-08, 10:17 PM   #20
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I did not say that at all. I said that the money spent to assist business reinvestment would be much much better than money that the government gives to itself. Using the "devistated site" argument to turn over everything to the government does a great disservice to the business community of New York wich is far more capable of using that money constructively than Charley Rangel is. Charley Rangel gets to drive a Cadillac DeVille paid for by the Government. Oink.
I guess you didn't read the previous post.

oink

The Liberty Zone legislation:

Creates a “Liberty Zone Employment Benefit Credit” of $2,400 per employee, similar to the federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit, for Liberty Zone businesses with 200 or fewer employees;

. allows taxpayers to claim a first-year depreciation deduction equal to 30 percent on property located in the Liberty Zone (including buildings and building improvements, if they rehabilitate or replace real property damaged, destroyed, or condemned as a result of the attacks). The additional deduction applies to property purchased after September 10, 2001 and placed in service before December 31, 2006 (or before December 31, 2009 in the case of nonresidential real property and residential rental property);
increases the amount that businesses with smaller capital expenditures may expense under section 179 of the tax code by an additional $35,000, and reduces the portion of the cost of Zone property taken into account when applying the phase-out threshold;
increases the replacement period under section 1033 of the tax code, so that taxpayers would not have to recognize gains from property purchased to replace involuntarily converted (i.e., destroyed or damaged) property located in Lower Manhattan, as long as replacement property is acquired within New York City within 5 years;
provides a 5-year recovery period for depreciation of leasehold improvements in the Liberty Zone for property placed in served after September 10, 2001 and before January 2, 2007; and

authorizes the issuance of up to $8 billion of tax-exempt private activity bonds (“Liberty Bonds”) over the next three years to help renovate and rebuild commercial property, residential rental property and public utility property.


If you don't read it this time, my only guess is that you spend your time listening to people like Rush Limbaugh.
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Old 05-30-08, 10:20 PM   #21
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You sit in your armchair criticising FEMA because of their obvious screw-ups, but at least somebody was doing something to help the people New Orleans.

I say better money is wasted helping people than money not spent at all.

The best thing would be to have a government that did nothing at all, unless it was perfect.

But you dodged the point that you said the federal efforts to rebuild the devastated site of the 911 attacks was "pork."

You said, "I would be much more sympathetic if it were "significant tax benefits specifically fourmulated for businesses located the the zone, to help rebuild Lower Manhattabn and encourage investment in New York City" as opposed to tax credits to governmental units. "

Maybe you would be "more sympathetic" if your family was struck by a natural disaster and the government stepped in to help. But let's not suggest that government could do that. That would be like saying we Americans step in to help one another, even if it is through tax dollars.

But this whole discussion between you and I is purely political. You will stand your ground, because you believe in it, and I will stand in disbelief that such a simple step towards promoting bicycle commuting is being opposed by you on political grounds.

I've seen so many political "discussions" over the years, they make me sick. I'm just ready for someone to have the guts and temerity to actually do something, instead of read books and talk.

But to your point,

"I would be much more sympathetic if it were significant tax benefits specifically fourmulated for businesses located the the zone, to help rebuild Lower Manhattabn and encourage investment in New York City as opposed to tax credits to governmental units."


George E. Pataki
Governor



Liberty Zone Tax Benefits

April, 2002

Dear Business Owner:



President Bush recently signed into law powerful new federal legislation that creates a "Liberty Zone" in Lower Manhattan (the area south of Canal and Rutgers Streets), and provides significant tax benefits specifically formulated for businesses located in the zone, to help rebuild Lower Manhattan and encourage reinvestment in New York City.



The Liberty Zone legislation:

Creates a “Liberty Zone Employment Benefit Credit” of $2,400 per employee, similar to the federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit, for Liberty Zone businesses with 200 or fewer employees;

. allows taxpayers to claim a first-year depreciation deduction equal to 30 percent on property located in the Liberty Zone (including buildings and building improvements, if they rehabilitate or replace real property damaged, destroyed, or condemned as a result of the attacks). The additional deduction applies to property purchased after September 10, 2001 and placed in service before December 31, 2006 (or before December 31, 2009 in the case of nonresidential real property and residential rental property);
increases the amount that businesses with smaller capital expenditures may expense under section 179 of the tax code by an additional $35,000, and reduces the portion of the cost of Zone property taken into account when applying the phase-out threshold;
increases the replacement period under section 1033 of the tax code, so that taxpayers would not have to recognize gains from property purchased to replace involuntarily converted (i.e., destroyed or damaged) property located in Lower Manhattan, as long as replacement property is acquired within New York City within 5 years;
provides a 5-year recovery period for depreciation of leasehold improvements in the Liberty Zone for property placed in served after September 10, 2001 and before January 2, 2007; and

authorizes the issuance of up to $8 billion of tax-exempt private activity bonds (“Liberty Bonds”) over the next three years to help renovate and rebuild commercial property, residential rental property and public utility property.
Attached below is a map of the Liberty Zone* and a link to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service* web site that provides more detailed information on these new tax benefits.

Thank you for all you have done to keep your business running in New York City – the business capital of the world. Together, with your help and determination we will prevail.



Sincerely,


George E. Pataki,
Governor


*
The Liberty Zone Legislation is great stuff, exactly the sort of thing that I said would do well. It is not however related to the bill we were discussing that contains some legislation about bicycle commuting incentives. The portion of that bill that I listed as pork involves the ability of the city of New York, or the State of New York among others to retain the income tax collected by it for qualified employees working in the Liberty Zone. The employees don't get to keep the money, the city/state/employeer does and there is not requirement on how that money is to be spent. Thats pork.
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Old 05-30-08, 10:24 PM   #22
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The Liberty Zone Legislation is great stuff, exactly the sort of thing that I said would do well. It is not however related to the bill we were discussing...
I hate dishonesty.

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Old 06-01-08, 02:06 PM   #23
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I think the point I was trying to make is that here is an effort by the federal government to offer SOME sort of benefit for people who choose to utilize bicycles for their daily commute.

You can say it's not good enough, doesn't affect enough people, isn't enough money, or whatever... but it's a step in the right direction, even if it's a small step.
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Old 06-01-08, 02:07 PM   #24
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Let's keep the goverment out of it.
Agreed.

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Old 06-01-08, 02:57 PM   #25
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how do you enforce this?
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A narrative on bicycle driving.
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