$1200 a year to bike commute

I’m not sure this bill to give tax relief to bicycle commuters is a good idea, but I’m sure it’s not as bad an idea as subsidizing gasoline (more than we already do indirectly).

9 thoughts on “$1200 a year to bike commute”

  • Mauricio Babilonia

    Todd, I’m having trouble coming up with a downside. Did you have some specific doubts in mind? (Besides it being not that much and about 25 years overdue?)

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  • Todd

    Mauricio, my reservations are essentially libertarian in nature. But if you don’t go for such reasoning, surely you would agree that a $12,000 yearly break would be ten times as sweet.

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  • Julian

    They haven’t said how they’d solve the problem of determining who really rode their bike to work. Not an easy thing to work out, since some people will just lie so they can get a tax break. That’s why just raising gas taxes makes sense to me.

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  • Mauricio Babilonia

    Todd, I certainly don’t have a problem with the libertarian argument, and I’m guessing we’re on the same page with respect to whether it should apply to motor vehicle infrastucture. If we don’t allow deductions for bicycle commuting, then we should eliminate the existing federal tax subsidy for commuter parking.

    Julian, I can’t comment on whether people could use the bike commuting exemption to cheat the government, since I don’t know its proposed mechanism. Seems like the same consequences for other forms of tax cheating would apply. I do agree that raising gas taxes would be a good idea (and again, overdue.)

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  • Martina

    hmmmm, people who ride their bikes to work? Smell test, helmet hair and grease on their pants? People who ask for Bike parking permission for the underground garage? We should be able to figure that one out….

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  • Todd

    mauricio, yes i am completely opposed to any form of parking subsidy, in particular the near-universal compulsion to provide parking spaces in most any new building after around 1928. even in dense places like san francisco, you can’t remodel, say, a victorian without adding a garage while you’re at it. all new apartments: 1 off-street parking space per unit mandatory. i have also witnessed a badly-needed corner store permit get denied because 2 neighbors within 500 feet raised the spectre of shoppers taking precious nearby street parking spaces. it’s a quality of car life issue.

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  • Mauricio Babilonia

    It’s a quality of car life issue


    Ain’t that the truth. One cycling advocate here in Madison keeps saying that the means for improving the non-motorized livability of our fair city is just one search-and-replace of the zoning code away:

    Find: Required Minimum Parking Spaces Replace With: Maximum Allowed Parking Spaces

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  • Martina

    I like the European model of large inner City areas closed to traffic, but having Fussgaenger passage with centralized parking in key areas and only allow inhabitants to park right next to their houses.
    But even in liberal Berkely open-minded people complain that there is not enough parking downtown and that that is hte reason why Berkely downtown is dying.
    Looking back, I think that the Oil crisis in the 70′s had a lot to do with how Europeans live with their cars: there were Sundays where you could only drive with special permission and or when your license plate ended in an odd or even number. But here I think it will come to violence before it comes to this!

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  • Ted Howard

    Hi Todd
    “itââ?¬â?¢s a quality of car life issue.” Like Mauricio, I think you’ve nailed it.

    We live in a car addicted culture and it’s global, and it’s killing us and the planet. I hope
    peak oil pushes the dominant culture into a more humble, sane and sustainable set-up. At this
    point I don’t see this being voluntary with the gdp (general dumb public)being so uneducated
    and the controlling elites trying to make obscene amounts of money from it.

    We live with the illusion of technological utopia, but are facing a reality of ecological
    catastrophe, so sure is a very ‘interesting’ time to be alive on the planet, huh?!

    Regards
    Ted
    Nelson, NZ

    Reply
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