augusta free press news

Deeds offers demand-side transportation solutions

Item by Chris Graham

Here’s an idea toward providing a solution to the state’s transportation crisis. Why not get drivers off the roads in congested areas?

“We simply can’t pave our way out of this traffic gridlock,” said Bath County Democratic State Sen. Creigh Deeds, who has introduced a trio of measures for consideration in this week’s special legislation session on transportation that would offer tax incentives to businesses in the Commonwealth that provide flextime or telecommuting options to their employees and to individuals who take advantage of carpools and public transportation.

“I believe it is imperative that we address our transportation needs from the demand side of the equation as well. This tax-credit package provides real incentives for Virginia businesses and their employees to get commuters off the road during rush hour,” Deeds said.

Senate Bill 6012 would provide an income-tax credit to employers for employees who enter into a flextime scheduling agreement, meaning they work a four-day workweek or begin their day between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.

Under the terms of the legislation, employers are eligible for up to $25,000 per year in credits.

Senate Bill 6013 would provide a tax credit to businesses for telecommuting expenditures and allow for a 100 percent tax credit for employers to conduct a telecommuting assessment the year prior to implementing a telecommuting program. Employers are eligible for a $1,200 credit per employee, capped at $20,000 per year.

Senate Bill 6014 would create an individual income-tax deduction for using public transportation or carpooling. Individuals would be eligible to deduct up to 50 percent of the costs incurred using public transportation or take advantage of a $500 yearly deduction for carpooling, walking or biking to work.