House Votes YES on Billions for Bike Incentives and Infrastructure in Build Back Better Act
By: Noa Banayan, PeopleForBikes director of federal affairs
A closer look at the bike provisions included in the Build Back Better Act and the political landscape ahead.
On November 19, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Build Back Better (BBB) Act, a $1.75 trillion social spending package with good news for bikes. Namely, an estimated $4 billion investment in electric bicycle tax credits, an $81/month individual bike commuter benefit and a combined $7 billion for climate and equity-enhancing infrastructure grants.
PeopleForBikes is grateful for the continued advocacy of the bicycle industry, the support of bike riders across the U.S. and the leadership of certified bike champions in Congress, specifically Representatives Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Earl Blumenauer (OR-3) and Mike Thompson (CA-5).
If you’ve been following the progress of the BBB and PeopleForBikes’ work on the included bike provisions, you’ll know the E-BIKE Act has changed with each new version of the larger bill. In this latest (though potentially not the final, which we’ll get into later) version of the bill, the electric bicycle tax credit is:
- A 30% refundable tax credit, up to $900, for qualifying new electric bicycles that cost less than $4,000.
- Available to individuals earning less than $75,000 annually ($112,500 for heads of household and $150,000 for married couples filing jointly). The credit begins to phase out above those income levels at a rate of $200 per $1,000 of additional income.
- Available through December 31, 2025.
We’re celebrating the E-BIKE Act making it this far in the legislative process after only being originally introduced in February of this year. Its inclusion in the BBB is a testament to the growing power of e-bikes to replace short car trips and keep Americans moving with ease and efficiency — all without harmful carbon emissions. As the broader bill makes its way through the Senate, we’ll continue to fight for the fullest version of the E-BIKE Act to be included while working within the political reality.
The bicycle commuter benefit included in the Build Back Better Act mirrors the Bicycle Commuter Act of 2021, meaning commuters could receive $81/month (adjusted for inflation) as a pre-tax benefit for biking to work. This could be used in harmony with parking and transit benefits and would cover costs associated with bike share, micromobility and electric bicycles. All up, employees could take advantage of nearly $1,000/year pre-tax for biking to work.
Additionally, the BBB includes:
- A 30% tax credit for businesses to install micromobility charging stations.
- $4 billion for the Neighborhood Access and Equity Grant Program.
- $3 billion for the Community Climate Incentive Grant Program.
Of course, because this is Congress, the political reality for moving the BBB through the Senate and onto President Biden’s desk remains shaky. As a partisan bill moving through the process known as reconciliation, passing the BBB requires all Democratic senators’ support, which remains unclear. You can ask your senators to support the Build Back Better Act and the bike incentive and infrastructure provisions here: https://action.peopleforbikes.org/buildbackbetteract/.