NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In the wake of news regarding passage of tax extenders legislation, the Commuter Benefits Work for Us Coalition is pleased that Congress has come together in support of continuing parity between the transit and parking portions of the commuter benefit program.
Commuter benefits are important as they offer middle class working Americans an opportunity to save money on the cost of their commute to/from work by paying for those costs with pre-tax dollars. The Coalition, which comprises transit advocacy organizations, employer and labor groups, and government and private entities, remains optimistic that Congress will continue to work on delivering a package in early 2015 to address this important commuter-related tax benefit provision on a permanent basis.
It is important that Congress address the commuter benefit tax provision in early 2015 in order to restore a common-sense policy that equalizes commuter benefits for middle class working families. The recent tax extenders package only addresses parity retroactively for 2014. Commuter benefit tax savings are difficult to take advantage of retrospectively.
“Implementing a tax-exempt benefits program on a retroactive basis is extremely cumbersome for employers and is of little use to many of the employees who rely on the benefit each month,” said Bill Dunn, Director of Government Relations for the American Payroll Association. “Congress must act soon to maximize employee and employer savings while minimizing problematic retroactivity.”
Congress has the unique opportunity to institute this sound transportation policy on a permanent basis at no additional cost to American taxpayers and without increasing the federal deficit. In fact, the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) has recently noted that a permanent provision setting monthly caps for both parking and transit benefits at $235 and indexing them for inflation, would raise net revenues of $130 million over 10 years.
Leading supporters of the transit benefit include Peter King (R-NY), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Jim McGovern (D-MA) in the House and Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) in the Senate. The Coalition will continue to work with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to achieve permanent parity between the transit and parking portions of the commuter benefit program on a go-forward basis. Recent action shows that this is not a partisan issue and reflects sentiment in Congress to provide equitable tax treatment for all commuters.
Parties interested in weighing in with their elected officials on the importance of commuter benefits can visit the Coalition website at www.commuterbenefitsworkforus.com.
About the Coalition - Our purpose is to promote transit and vanpooling through the use of federal, state and local tax programs in order to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality while supporting American families and the general economy. We are public agencies, transit operators, private businesses and concerned citizens working together to provide and/or support the use of commuter benefits to achieve the goals of our country and its citizens.