Bike commuters across the Commonwealth need to start saving their receipts for bike-related purchases because biking in Massachusetts will now put money back in your pocket! MassBike has been supporting bicycle commuter benefits for several years and we’re thrilled to announce that they were included in the recent tax relief bill, “H.4104 An Act to improve the Commonwealth competitiveness, affordability, and equity”. The bill includes several tax relief measures, but most notably expanded commuter benefits to include, “bikeshare memberships, or for bicycles, including electric bicycles, or for bicycle improvements”.
Prior to this bill, the up-to-$750 commuter benefit tax deduction was limited to MBTA users with a monthly or weekly pass and to residents using E-Z Pass. For the first time, commuters who take regional bus service, the ferry, the MBTA using daily fare, a bike share bike, or their own bike (including e-bikes) will have the opportunity to access these deductions.
“The inclusion of the commuter transit benefits provision in the tax relief legislation will encourage people to turn to more environmentally-friendly modes of transportation by incentivizing the use of bicycles, buses, commuter rail, ferries, and subways,” said Senator John Keenan. “The result will be more affordable, quicker, and lower carbon emitting commuting.”
“This bill requires state tax policy to provide all transit and bicycle commuters with the same tax deduction as those who drive to work,” said Representative Tommy Vitolo (15th Norfolk). “Whether you spend money on BlueBikes, road bikes, e-bikes, or multiple bikes, you are now eligible for the same state tax deduction E-Z pass users get.”
"I was so glad we were able to expand the commuter deduction as part of the tax package to include single transit fares and bikeshare costs. This is an important policy change that reflects how people are currently getting to work,” said Representative Steve Owens (29th Middlesex). “This puts cyclists, regional transit system riders and those who don't take the T often enough for monthly passes on the same level as drivers who've been able to deduct their tolls for years."
"On behalf of riders across the state, we are grateful for the work of this legislature and the Healey-Driscoll administration to support bicycling as a serious commuting option in Massachusetts. This policy will encourage people to choose to ride their bikes to work, to school, for errands, and for daily trips, and especially helps those most burdened by daily transportation costs. By defraying the expenses of bicycle purchases, bike repair, electric-assist bikes, and joining in bike share memberships, we are moving closer toward our goals of providing equitable, sustainable, and active transportation access for everyone," said MassBike Executive Director Galen Mook, shown above with Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll at the bill signing.
The bill was signed into law by Governor Healey on Wednesday, September 3, 2023. For now, we’re advising all bike commuters to keep your receipts for any bicycle purchases, accessories, and repairs! This law is retroactive to January 2023, but guidelines on implementation have not been set.
MassBike would like to extend our thanks to Senator John Keenan, Representative Tommy Vitolo (15th Norfolk), and Representative Steve Owens (29th Middlesex) for keeping the pressure going and sponsoring this important bill, and to all their colleagues in both the House and Senate for supporting this initiative. We are proud to have bike-friendly support at the State House!
As we learn more about how the new bicycle benefits will be implemented, MassBike will share exactly how to take advantage of them. Please spread the word to your bike commuter friends and family to let them know about these upcoming tax benefits and encourage them to sign up for MassBike's email list to make sure they recieve updates.