Although the House Ways and Means Committee shrunk the potential e-bike tax credit in half, there is still a large place for e-bikes and bicycles in the House’s new Build Better Back Act (formerly the GREEN Act). And, PeopleForBikes and The League of American Bicyclists are calling on bicycle-forward supporters to reach out and advocate for what is left so they don’t get downsized any further.
Recently, the Act and the much-ballyhoed e-bike tax credit went to the House Ways and Means Committee in the United States. It did make it through to the other side, but it was cut in half.
The e-bike tax credit and other bicycle programs that make up the massive bill are as follows, and it signifies a welcome change and an indication of just how fast and how large e-bikes sales are growing:
• E-bike tax credit: 15% on the purchase of new e-bikes (the first $5,000), up to $750 benefit value. The credit was originally proposed for 30%.
• Bicycle commuter benefit: Allow use of pre-tax dollars to fund bike purchases and bike-share memberships.
• E-bikes for business tax credit: An incentive of a tax credit of 30% for businesses to install e-bike charging stations.
• Funding to reconnect or enhance communities split apart by highway projects.
• Opportunities to build a sustainable and complete bicycle network.
The bill now goes to the House Budget Committee.
“While we had hoped for a larger benefit, we appreciate that the e-bike benefit made it into the bill and that it is strongly weighted to low- and middle-income families,” said Caron Whitaker, League of American Bicyclists deputy executive director. “The price of the e-bike benefit is $7.4 billion over 10 years — versus $15.6 billion for electric cars — so Congress is projecting huge e-bike sales. That means e-bikes can play a critical role in reducing climate change, providing affordable transportation options, and keeping Americans active longer.”
The organizations say the e-bike and bike commuting tax incentives will go a long way toward getting more people to commute by bike and thereby lowering carbon emissions. Enhancing infrastructure to build connected bike lanes and recreational trails goes hand-in-hand to make commuting safer.
“Every dollar invested in bicycle incentives guarantees returns for a cleaner planet, better public health, equitable mobility, and economic growth,” said PeopleForBikes President and CEO Jenn Dice. “When so many of us are re-evaluating how we move and the climate impact of our transportation choices, the Build Back Better Act will help bring electric bicycles into the homes of Americans seeking an efficient and emissionless transportation option.”