Citi Bike tax write-off bill close to reality

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer announced updates on Thursday.

A federal bill that would allow Citi Bike members to write off their $95 annual memberships on their taxes is one step closer to becoming a law.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer announced Thursday that his legislation was approved by the Senate Finance Committee as an amendment to a tax bill that’s currently up for debate.

“We’re riding quickly down the path and getting close to enacting this provision into law,” Schumer said.

Current tax rules allow employers to provide compensation for transportation costs on a tax-free basis, but only for cars and personal bicycles. Under Schumer’s proposal, the costs of bike-share programs, like Citi Bike, would also be tax deductible.

If the bill passes, employers would be able to offer free Citi Bike membership as a benefit, and employees would be able to exclude $20 a month from their pay for income tax purposes.

The Citi Bike program is having financial problems because the company that operates the bikes has serious debt. Mayor Bill de Blasio ruled out a taxpayer-funded bailout of the program.

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