WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today the Commuter Benefits Work For Us Coalition, comprised of transit advocacy organizations, labor groups, employer groups and government and private entities, came together in a joint statement to urge Congress to act now to restore a commuter related tax benefit provision which expired at the end of last year. The organizations will urge Congress to restore transit benefits at parity with qualified parking benefits. Among the sixty-plus organizations signing the letter are the US Chamber of Commerce, the National League of Cities, the American Payroll Association, the Employer’s Council on Flexible Compensation, the US Conference of Mayors, the National Association of Counties and various transit authorities and businesses from across the country.
Until its expiration on December 31, 2013, the tax code provided an exclusion from income of equal amounts either for a parking benefit or public transit benefit. Following the expiration of the transportation parity provision, there is a large disparity between the amount that can be excluded for parking (up to $250 monthly), and the amount that can be excluded for transit (up to $130 monthly) which can be used for diverse modes of public transportation such as commuter rail, bus, subway, ferry, and van pools.
It is critical that Congress address this expired tax provision in order to restore a common-sense policy that equalizes commuter benefits for middle class working families.
Importantly, this provision can be made permanent at no additional cost to the US Treasury and the American taxpayer. A recent revenue estimate by the Joint Committee on Taxation has stated that equalizing the tax treatment between parking and transit at $235 monthly would actually produce a net saving in excess of $130 million over ten years.
This is the largest grouping of organizations to come together to date on behalf of the restoration of transit parity. This provision is good for working families, the environment, and our transit system, both road and rail. The coalition is seeking for this provision to be addressed prior to year end as part of tax extenders deliberations.
Congressmen Blumenauer and McGovern will be hosting a media event at 10am on November 12, 2014 at the House triangle (across from the Cannon House office building) in support of this important tax provision.