Bill would lower the cost of e-bikes for all
[SAINT PAUL, MN] – Today, Senator Omar Fateh (DFL – Minneapolis) introduced SF 2653, companion legislation to HF 2360 introduced last Thursday by Representative Lucy Rehm (DFL – Chanhassen), which introduce an E-Bike credit bill to encourage the use of electric-assist bicycles, or e-bikes, by reducing the cost to purchase one by providing individuals with an income tax credit. The E-Bike Rebate Bill was created in close collaboration with the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (BikeMN) and PeopleForBikes.
The bill creates an income tax credit that individuals can apply for and assign to a Minnesota retailer, who in turn receives a reimbursement from the Department of Revenue. Thus while it is a credit on income taxes, it is not actually claimed as part of income tax filing and functions more like an instant rebate against the price of the bicycle:
- The amount of the credit ranges from 50-75 percent of the amount paid for the e-bike, up to $1,500.
- The percentage scales are based on the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income in the prior tax year, dropping down as income increases.
- A Minnesota resident will have to apply to the Minnesota Department of Revenue to obtain a credit certificate. After it is received they will have three months to purchase an e-bike and assign the credit to the retailer.
- The application process has yet to be defined by the Department of Revenue and the Legislature will likely set an maximum amount of funding available for this credit.
“We know that the transportation sector in Minnesota is the number one source of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Rep. Rehm. “Incentivizing Minnesotans to use greener and cleaner forms of transportation like e-biking, is a win-win for our environment and health.”
“We should explore every opportunity to protect the health of our environment and end our addiction to fossil fuels,” said Sen. Fateh. “The e-bike tax credit will help more Minnesotans replace their vehicle commute, lower their carbon footprint, and explore their communities.”
A study found that if 15 percent of car trips were made by e-bike, carbon emissions would drop by 12 percent. A North American survey found that 46 percent percent of e-bike commute trips replaced an automobile commute and a more thorough review of European studies showed that e-bike trips replaced car trips 47 percent to 76 percent of the time.
“E-bikes have become very popular. They increase your range, average speed, ability to climb hills, and, if you add a rack and bags, or buy a cargo e-bike, you can significantly increase your carrying capacity,” said Dorian Grilley, Executive Director of BikeMN. “Some people have even decided to replace a car with an e-bike.”
“PeopleForBikes strongly supports Representative Rehm’s and Senator Fateh’s proposed tax credit for the purchase of an e-bike,” said Matt Moore, Policy Counsel for PeopleForBikes. “It is modeled on successful programs from several other states. E-bikes are a game changer for many people, allowing them to continue using a bicycle for recreation and fitness and opening an option for daily commuting.”