To remain globally competitive, the bicycle industry relies on pro-growth policies and reforms that help remove barriers to expansion. PeopleForBikes supports federal policies that create an even playing field, trade agreements that are fair to the entire industry, tax policy that incentivizes growth, and an increase in effective industry data.
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Better Policies for Stronger Bike Businesses
We engage elected officials on the issues that affect the bicycle industry to ensure that our member companies have an environment where their business can thrive. Whether it is opening up markets to new products by changing electric bicycle laws, or ensuring that bike products are subject to fair trade regulations, PeopleForBikes works to create policies that support our industry.
E-Fairness – Online retailers are not required to collect sales taxes that their brick and mortar counterparts are required to collect placing independent brick and mortar bicycle retailers at a disadvantage. PeopleForBikes supports a level playing field by ensuring sales taxes are collected on online purchases.
Miscellaneous Tariff Bill – PeopleForBikes supports passage of a miscellaneous tariffs bill to provide tariff relief for a wide variety of products, including a number of bicycle-related products, through a miscellaneous tariffs bill. The International Trade Commission has reviewed products that would be eligible for tariff relief as part of a miscellaneous tariffs bill and submitted its final report to Congress. Based on the recommendations made by this report Congress now must pass legislation to provide tariff relief or reduction for three years.
PHIT Act – Numerous studies demonstrate the connection between greater physical activity and improved health. Bicycling is a great form of exercise. The PHIT Act takes steps to build prevention into our health care by making physical activity expenses, including the purchase of bicycles and their components, eligible for reimbursement through a pre-tax medical account.
E-Bikes – Electric bicycles, or e-bikes, are the fast growing segment of the bike industry. However, many of our federal, state, and local policies governing their use are outdated. We work to update traffic laws and policies governing our public lands to integrate this new and fast growing category into our national laws. In just 2.5 years, we have expanded the reach of our model electric bicycle to cover 25% of the U.S. population.
Offices of Outdoor Recreation – States across the U.S. are realizing that the recreation economy provides substantial benefits to local communities, jobs and tax revenue. Governors and state legislatures are now formalizing government positions dedicated to advancing the outdoor recreation industry in their states. PeopleForBikes works with partner organizations to advance these initiatives.
Funding for bikes
People who purchase bikes need safe, convenient, and accessible places to ride, and businesses need reliable networks to move their products. PeopleForBikes supports developing and investing in a transportation system that provides the appropriate infrastructure for the bicycle industry to effectively deliver product to market, while also providing the necessary facilities for customers to utilize those products.
Transportation Alternatives Program – TAP is the largest federal funding source to help communities build bike infrastructure, including on- and off-road bicycle facilities. Recreational trail projects, safe routes to schools, and protected bike lanes are included. Funding for the Transportation Alternatives Program will grow to $850 million in fiscal year 2020.
Recreational Trails Program (RTP) – The Recreational Trails Program provides funding to states to develop and maintain recreational trails for both motorized and non-motorized users, including bike riders. In fiscal year 2017, the total funding for RTP is slightly more than $83 million.
TIGER – TIGER is a discretionary grant program run by the U.S. Department of Transportation that funds a broad range of transportation projects, including helping communities meet the growing demand for bike infrastructure to improving freight movement.
State Transportation Funding – Many states face significant shortfalls in their existing budgets to build new infrastructure and maintain existing facilities. PeopleForBikes is mobilizing its network of individual supporters and industry members to ensure that bike infrastructure is part of these proposals. Below are several recent successes where we have worked to generate new funding for protect existing sources:
- Oregon (2017): Oregon passed a comprehensive transportation funding bill that will generate $22 million annually for bike infrastructure over the next ten years. We also successfully lowered the tax on the sale of new bicycles in this legislation from the initial proposal of 5% of the retail price to a $15 flat fee.
- California (2017): In 2017, California doubled the size of its Active Transportation Fund from $100 million annually to $200 million annually. PeopleForBikes Coalition members visited with leaders in Sacramento to advocate for this change.
- Tennessee (2016): When the legislature threatened to eliminate bike projects from being eligible for state transportation funding, we mounted a grassroots campaign to fight the proposal and successfully removed this language from the bill.
- Florida (2015): PeopleForBikes supporters weighed to express their support for a new source of dedicated funding for bicycle paths, and the state now has $25 million annually to spend on a statewide network of trails.
Local ballot measures – PeopleForBikes is working to support local governments and advocates to ensure that transportation ballot measures include dedicated bike infrastructure funding. Since 2016, voters have passed ballots measures providing $4.6 billion in new revenue for bike projects.
Almost every bike ride takes place on a form of public land. PeopleForBikes values the need to protect and conserve public lands so people who ride bikes can continue to have access to them. We work to protect funding for critical agencies and support programs that provide people who purchase bikes with quality riding experiences.
Agency funding – Our public lands cannot be managed properly without adequate funding for key agencies like the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. We work to ensure that the budgets of these agencies are protected.
Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) – For more than 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped communities across the country to conserve lands and improve recreational opportunities, including bicycling, throughout the nation. PeopleForBikes supports a permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund as well as the highest possible funding on an annual basis.
Recreational Trails Program (RTP) – RTP provides another critical mechanism to build new trails. Working with partner organizations, we are working to maintain and grow its funding.
Public lands transfer – Our public lands provide endless recreational opportunities, including some of the best mountain bike trails in the world. Furthermore, bicycle tourism is an important economic contributor to communities surrounding them.Our public lands continue to experience threatening backlogs in maintenance as well as unfair limitations on bike riding. Federal lands policy should focus on protecting these precious lands, while also ensuring that outdoor recreation, including cycling, remains a key priority for management agencies.