BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Edenred, the provider of the premier commuter benefits programs, Commuter Check and WiredCommute, is asking Congress to take swift action to keep the pre-tax transit benefit cap at $230 per month before it expires on December 31, 2011.
In 2009, the transit benefit pre-tax “cap” was increased as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) from $120 per month to $230 per month matching the amount allowed for parking expenses. That increase was lead by Congressman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts (D) and Senator Charles Schumer of New York (D). Without immediate Congressional action the transit cap of the commuter benefit will be reduced nearly in half on December 31st, effectively creating a tax increase for the over 2.7 million public transit and vanpool commuters that currently use this benefit. Without new legislation, the 2012 transit benefit will be $125 while the parking benefit increases to $240.
Edenred is working with a coalition of public agencies, transit operators, private businesses, benefit providers and concerned citizens to support maintaining commuter benefits at their present levels. The Coalition’s website,www.CommuterBenefitsWorkforUs.com, provides information on the benefit and allows commuters and their employers to voice their opinion to their Members of Congress.
As Gerard Bridi explains, “By offering commuter benefits, employers, can save up to 10% on average in payroll tax savings, a savings they can invest back in their company. Through a company-sponsored plan, commuter benefits allow employees to use pre-tax dollars to pay for commuting costs, a savings of 40% on average.”
Many Commuter Check and WiredCommute customers have made their voices heard to their elected officials. They have sent nearly 50,000 letters to Congress delivering a clear message. As Congress searches for ways to stimulate job growth; it must also recognize that transportation is the second largest household expense. Promoting transportation alternatives such as transit and vanpools is one-way Congress can help ‘Main Street’.
Bridi goes on to state “a tax increase at this time to the average American commuter is just wrong. These riders that use buses, trains and vanpools should be subject to an increased tax burden for commuting efficiently. The extension of the transit cap at $230 is a win for working Americans. It also makes a statement about our commitment as a nation to reduce our collective carbon footprint and reduce our country’s dependence on fossil fuels.”
Edenred North America is part of the Edenred Group, which invented the Ticket Restaurant® meal voucher and is the world leader in prepaid corporate services, designs and delivers solutions that make employees’ lives easier and improve the efficiency of organizations.
By ensuring that allocated funds are used as intended, these solutions enable companies to more effectively manage:
- Employee benefits
- Expense management process
- Incentive and rewards programs
The Group also supports public institutions in managing their social benefits programs.
Edenred is committed to forging and nurturing relationships with all of its stakeholders, based on dialogue, win-win benefits and mutual responsibility:
- Companies and public authorities, concerned with being a good place to work, with motivating their teams and optimizing their performance.
- Beneficiaries, who appreciate the simplicity and convenience of service cards and vouchers in making their lives easier.
- Affiliated merchants, seeking to increase their revenue, retain their customers and secure their transactions.
- Public partners, looking to improve the effectiveness of their social and economic policies, to deliver benefits and to ensure the traceability of funds allocated to benefit programs.
Edenred operates in 40 countries, with 6,000 employees, nearly 530,000 private and public sector customers, 1.2 million affiliated merchants and 34.5 million beneficiaries.
All of its solutions are endorsed by the red ball, the symbol of a system created to benefit every stakeholder.