Two separate bills introduced to Congress this session could reportedly grant bike and e-bike commuters a tax break. The Bicycle Commuter Act (first introduced in 2019), and the Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment (E-BIKE) Act (brought to the floor last week) encourage the use of bikes and e-bikes as a mode of zero-carbon transportation.

 

Introduced by Reps. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), the E-BIKE Act, the bill would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. If it passes, purchasers of new e-bikes would be eligible for a tax credit of up to $1,500. On the other hand, the Bicycle Commuter Act (H.R.384) — also introduced by Rep. Blumenauer— has similar text and tax break incentives. Nineteen members of Congress are backing the bill, and it has been referred to the House. It is expected that the bills will likely get support from the President, who has pledged to tackle climate change, who if it passes the senate, would sign it into law. 

 

According to Congressman Panetta’s press release, the E-BIKE Act would create a 30% consumer tax credit for anyone purchasing an electric bike — with overall cost capped at $8,000 — in a bid to make zero-emissions travel more affordable and accessible. The tax incentive would either offset the purchaser’s taxes owed or be added to their tax refund for the year in which it was purchased. 

 

“E-bikes are not just a fad for a select few, they are a legitimate and practical form of transportation that can help reduce our carbon emissions,” Congressman Panetta said. “My legislation will make it easier for more people from all socio-economic levels to own e-bikes and contribute to cutting our carbon output. By incentivizing the use of electric bicycles to replace car trips through a consumer tax credit, we can not only encourage more Americans to transition to greener modes of transportation, but also help fight the climate crisis.”

 

“Incentivizing electric bicycles makes them a competitive transportation option for more Americans and supports a national effort to lower carbon emissions,” said PeopleForBikes CEO Jenn Dice through the aforementioned press release. 

 

He also pointed out that “one of the few positive developments of the last year has been the surge in biking.” Coronavirus emptied out Los Angeles’ roadways, so bicyclists took advantage of this. As more cyclists have hit the roads, Sep. 2020 had the fewest bicycle-vehicle collisions since the city began releasing data in 2012. Per data from the Los Angeles Police Department, there were 18 bike-vehicle collisions recorded in the city that month, down from 185 during the same period in 2019 — making it the lowest number ever recorded. Consequently, the number of cycling trips in the city logged by Strava Metro, which tracks data on bike usage in urban areas, rose by 52%, to 191,010. This has led some to say that Los Angeles is slowly becoming more bike-friendly.

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Neama Rahmani is the President and co-founder of West Coast Trial Lawyers.

Neama graduated from UCLA at the age of 19 and Harvard Law School at the age of 22, making him one of the youngest graduates in the 200-year history of the…

Neama Rahmani is the President and co-founder of West Coast Trial Lawyers.

Neama graduated from UCLA at the age of 19 and Harvard Law School at the age of 22, making him one of the youngest graduates in the 200-year history of the law school. Upon graduation, Neama was hired by O’Melveny & Myers, the largest law firm in Los Angeles, where he represented companies such as Disney, Marriott, and the Roman Catholic Church.

But Neama wanted to help ordinary people, not corporations, so he joined the United States Attorney’s Office, where he prosecuted drug and human trafficking cases along the United States-Mexico border. While working as a federal prosecutor, Neama captured and successfully prosecuted a fugitive murderer and drug kingpin who had terrorized Southern California and was featured on “America’s Most Wanted.” Neama was then appointed to be the Director of Enforcement of the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, an independent watchdog that oversees and investigates the elected officials and highest level employees of the City of Los Angeles, including the Mayor and City Council. He held that position until becoming a trial lawyer for the people.

Neama has extensive trial experience. He has led teams of more than 170 attorneys in litigation against the largest companies in the world. Neama has successfully tried dozens of cases to verdict as lead trial counsel, and has argued before both state and federal appeals courts. Over the course of his career, Neama has handled thousands of cases as attorney of record and has helped his clients obtain more than $1 billion in settlements and judgments.