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bailout bill includes bike benefits

Old 10-03-08, 05:59 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by huhenio View Post
too little ... 20 bux don't even cover inner tubes or tires.
You spend more than $20 a month on tubes and tires?
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Old 10-03-08, 06:41 PM
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$20/mo is better than nothing
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Old 10-03-08, 06:44 PM
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Actually...nothing (not spending $700 billiion frivolously) would be MUCH better than $20 bucks a month.
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Old 10-03-08, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by huhenio View Post
too little ... 20 bux don't even cover inner tubes or tires.

moar!!
$20 a month? OK, I did just spend $130 on studded tires, but my last set lasted me 3 years, and I get a year or two per $25 pair of tires, and I go through a $5 tube about every 2 years.
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Old 10-03-08, 06:51 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by fluidworks View Post
Actually...nothing (not spending $700 billiion frivolously) would be MUCH better than $20 bucks a month.
+700 billion
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Old 10-03-08, 06:51 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by fluidworks View Post
Actually...nothing (not spending $700 billiion frivolously) would be MUCH better than $20 bucks a month.
Aside from the fact that the two were linked legeslatively, one has nothing to do with the other. I don't like the idea of spending $700 billion to bailout an industry that took too many risks, but honestly something had to be done to stabilize the credit market. Regardless of your feelings on the bailout, the commuting provision is worthwhile on it's own merits, and as someone was pointed out, was thrown in to sweeten the pot for the senator.

So let's just say, if the bailout was going to happen anyway, isn't an extra $240 in your pocket at the end of the year a good thing?
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Old 10-03-08, 09:58 PM
  #32  
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The point was that this piece of pork is not worth the bailout, nor the other pork that goes along with it. And it's not like it's $240 in my pocket, it's a $240 deduction for my boss. Most likely most employees would never see a cent of that.
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Old 10-03-08, 11:02 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by fluidworks View Post
The point was that this piece of pork is not worth the bailout, nor the other pork that goes along with it. And it's not like it's $240 in my pocket, it's a $240 deduction for my boss. Most likely most employees would never see a cent of that.
It is a $20 reimbursement from the employer, to you. The employer is not obligated to pay, and of course could pay you to bike commute regardless, but this provides and incentive. This isn't the P&R forum, try to evaluate the merits of the commuting benefits without bringing the efficacy of the bailout into it.
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Old 10-03-08, 11:21 PM
  #34  
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TED spread is not budging, don't know if this is going to work.

My understanding is that the reason the bailout has these strange provisions is that it was attached to a bill that was already working its way through congress. But I do wanna know more about the car racing track they are funding.
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Old 10-03-08, 11:29 PM
  #35  
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We have about 300 employees and I'm the only one who bicycle-commutes.
I believe the company works in the $10,000,000 annual budget range.
They know that I am going to ride to work, regardless of whether they finance it or not.

Would they even care about a possible $240 a year tax deduction?
How do I go about convincing my employer to participate?
Has anyone here ever pitched their company about something similar?
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Old 10-03-08, 11:41 PM
  #36  
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This rider on the bailout plan does nothing for me. 20 bucks a month? IF my employer decides to participate? Big whoop-de-do.

This works out to about $1 a day. 50 cents a trip, one way. IF I ride every work day in a given month. Less really, given that I pull every third weekend. It's not worth it to ride for that. This doesn't mean jack-diddly-squat to me as a bike commuter.

If this had passed on it's own, it would have at least given commuters another point for credibility. It didn't, so it doesn't.

This whole bailout plan is bad, unnecessary, and just another step toward the United Socialist States of America.
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Old 10-03-08, 11:46 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by CommuterRun View Post
This works out to about $1 a day. 50 cents a trip, one way. IF I ride every work day in a given month. Less really, given that I pull every third weekend. It's not worth it to ride for that. This doesn't mean jack-diddly-squat to me as a bike commuter.
Some people need to work on their reading comprehension. From the bill: "if such bicycle is regularly used for travel between the employee's residence and place of employment". They keyword is regularly. Nowhere does it say every day.
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Old 10-03-08, 11:54 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
Some people need to work on their reading comprehension.
You got that right. Go back and read it again. I didn't say I needed to ride every work day to qualify, now did I? I said that's how the math works out if I did ride every work day in a given month.

Less than 50 cents a trip. There is no incentive to ride in this.

Last edited by CommuterRun; 10-04-08 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 10-04-08, 01:19 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by CommuterRun View Post
Less than 50 cents a trip. There is no incentive to ride in this.
You're soooo right, driving has way more attractive incentives: does nothing to reduce the risk of heart disease, continues our excessive dependence on fossil fuels / foreign oil, pollutes the natural environment, and serves to keep us on our unsustainable forward march.

Clearly, a much more appealing and better alternative than riding a silly bicycle...

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Old 10-04-08, 01:32 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
This is the same thing that came up for a vote before. The benefit can only be claimed through your employer. This means that your employer has to do a bunch of paperwork and has to administer the benefit.

There's hardly a chance in hell most of us will get this benefit even if it passes.

I'm pissed that they can't pass even emergency legislation without dumping a truckload of stuff onto it to get Senator Smith From Pawtucket to vote for it. They see a "must pass" thing like this coming through, and every senator with a pet project tapes it onto the thing as it passes by.
Yeah that sucks. It'll be rather amazing to actually sit and read what was attached and signed thru.

HOWEVER, in the meantime, I'm rather interested in this little thing. I work at a Community College - where we're "going Green", and the movements have begun the last couple of years - and more so the past year about really being ecologically wise - recycling, etc AND commuting or riding your bicycle more. So I, retired Publicity Director for my bike club, always have a display up about the great stuff about commuting (and there's some great stuff out there on the internet - I can fill a display - and also contact some great agencies who send me information/pamphlets too) -

so in a nutshell - this is rather cool - shall have to point this out to my several people who are commuters and are also involved in the green project at school - cause one of my issues with them is that our enrollment is up downtown - and so is the amount of bicycles that are locked with a variety of locks on the fence from el cheapo to excellent - and still we're hearing bikes stolen. I've been working on a plan to present to someone - and incorporating some others to HEY - YOU WANT GREEN AND COMMUTING? Well - these people need safe and secure places for their bicycles.

And now ... hmmmm ... reimbursement from employer, ay. Nice, very nice. GA has a system in place already - so does England I believe.
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Old 10-04-08, 01:34 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by CommuterRun View Post
You got that right. Go back and read it again. I didn't say I needed to ride every work day to qualify, now did I? I said that's how the math works out if I did ride every work day in a given month.

Less than 50 cents a trip. There is no incentive to ride in this.
oh

<snicker>

hell I spend that in the college bookstore on Smartfood a few days a week.

If that's what it equates to then, who cares.

OK - reedit - I do care - but it won't deter me - personally I like commuting.
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Old 10-04-08, 02:15 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by surfimp View Post
You're soooo right, driving has way more attractive incentives: does nothing to reduce the risk of heart disease, continues our excessive dependence on fossil fuels / foreign oil, pollutes the natural environment, and serves to keep us on our unsustainable forward march.

Clearly, a much more appealing and better alternative than riding a silly bicycle...

You missed the point. The incentives to bike commute before this passed were already well known and do not need to be reiterated. The additional financial incentive that this provides is meaningless. Because it is attached to this bad piece of legislation, we were better off without it.

In other words, this bill didn't give us anything we didn't already have. The people that commuted by bike before, will continue to commute by bike. The people that didn't bike commute are not going to jump off the couch, go dig the bike out of the back of the garage, air up the tires and suddenly start riding because of this. It's worthless, except getting us one step closer to being a Socialist nation. For that reason alone the Liberals should love it.

Last edited by CommuterRun; 10-04-08 at 03:49 AM.
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Old 10-04-08, 02:51 AM
  #43  
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I guess I'm not getting the distinction here. When I first heard about this, I thought it'd be a simple deduction you can take off your 1040EZ form. But it's not that at all.

Is it clear that the employee at the end of the year will get $240, or is it just the employer who owes Uncle Sam $240 less and may or may not choose to pass that on to the employee?
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Old 10-04-08, 03:44 AM
  #44  
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Here's how it would likely work.

Bike commuter buys a new tire for $20. Submits expense report to employer. Employer reimburses employee for $20. Employer files tax credit request to federal government. Federal government reimburses employer $20 (via tax credit). No cost to employer other than administrative costs of filling out paperwork (which they probably do anyway).

I'm not sure how the $20/month/commuter thing would work but I'd guess they'd average it out over a year and you could get reimbursed for a $25 tire too.
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Old 10-04-08, 04:38 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Sonoma76 View Post
I guess I'm not getting the distinction here. When I first heard about this, I thought it'd be a simple deduction you can take off your 1040EZ form. But it's not that at all.

Is it clear that the employee at the end of the year will get $240, or is it just the employer who owes Uncle Sam $240 less and may or may not choose to pass that on to the employee?
The employer can't claim it on their taxes unless they pay the employee. It is the payment to the employee than they can deduct.
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Old 10-04-08, 05:35 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
Would they even care about a possible $240 a year tax deduction?
How do I go about convincing my employer to participate?
Has anyone here ever pitched their company about something similar?
See the last post on page 1 of this thread. I made a form letter to use as a starting point for pitching this to your employer. Feel free to PM me if you would like additional assistance.
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Old 10-04-08, 05:52 AM
  #47  
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I just read back through all the responses and wanted to clear a few things up-

• As has been mentioned previously- your employer only gets a tax break if they reimburse you for some of your cycle related expenses.
• You don't have to ride every day, you could probably ride in once a week and still claim the credit (that's $5 per trip or $2.50 each way)
• If you are unhappy the bill passed or want to whine about the other 'pork' that was added- there is a P&R forum for you to go whine about that. This is the commuting forum.
• The senator who was responsible for this is from Oregon where a huge number of people already cyclo-commute and may be helped by this. On the other hand, if you are the shopkeeper at the Burnt Corn General Store in Burnt Corn, Alabama, your employer may choose not to administer these benefits. I know this sucks, but if you weren't getting any incentive before, it's not like they took something away from you.

[/soapbox]

Last edited by garysol1; 10-05-08 at 03:08 PM. Reason: edited out a direct link to P&R
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Old 10-04-08, 06:44 AM
  #48  
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$.50 per trip sounds about right to me... What do you think the gov't should pay you for taking your bike to work? Last time I bought a tube from the LBS it was $6 even. $20 per month should offset the cost of maintenance to use your bike regularly. It is the cost of lube, tubes, and the occasional tire. In fact, over time it is enough to pay for a chain and cassette as they wear as well.

The purpose of this money is to offset the maintenance to the wear and tear of your bike if you use it regularly to commute. It is not to encourage people to get out of their cars.

I'm not discussing the "bail-out bill", just this part.
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Old 10-04-08, 06:53 AM
  #49  
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Anybody that wants to cry about my opinion on legislation that affects commuters (this is the commuting forum, Hellooo) can either not read what I write, or put me on ignore. Feel free, I really don't give a rodent's rearend.

Last edited by CommuterRun; 10-04-08 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 10-04-08, 09:20 AM
  #50  
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and it was noted before but seems to be glossed over, that this is after-income that is not taxed. Presmably it would not be taxed by the state either. If you make enough, that can make it worth almost $500 of before-tax income.
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