The federal pre-tax transportation benefit is unfair to people who don’t drive to work.
If you take public transportation or vanpool, you are eligible for only $130 per month in pre-taxed commuter benefits. But if you drive, you are allowed $250 in pre-tax benefits for parking expenses.
Click here by December 31 to let your member of Congress know to take action on several pending bills that would support transit benefit parity.
Here is a brief message to include in your calls to action through channels like direct email, newsletters, blogs, and Twitter.:
It has been nearly a year since the cap on the transit benefit decreased to $130 per month. There has been a lot of talk, but little action!
Commuters need action now to raise the current pre-tax monthly level of the transit portion of the “commuter benefit” to equal the level that is permitted for parking. As the end of the year approaches and Congress returns to work, it is critical that you support passage of this legislation before December 31. Please consider signing up as a co-sponsor on existing bills.
The transportation-parity provision expired last December 31, but now Congress has the opportunity to reinstitute this sound transportation policy. Seventy bipartisan cosponsors in the House are supporting The Commuter Parity Act (H.R. 2288), which would equalize the parking and transit benefits – accomplishing sound transportation policy and fair tax policy at the same time. The Joint Committee on Taxation recently found that we can provide working Americans with this important tax relief without increasing the federal deficit. In fact, this approach would actually raise revenue.
Encouraging the use of public transportation has many obvious benefits, including less congestion and wear and tear on our roadways, reducing emissions, and assisting working Americans and their employers. A recent study by TransitCenter on mobility attitudes demonstrates the significant link between the transit tax benefit and commuting choices, reporting that “people offered pretax transit commuting benefits from their employers are over five times as likely to take transit regularly as employed persons who are not receiving benefits.” Thus, we need to instill greater certainty to our transportation policy and Congress can now do so on a revenue-neutral basis.
Members of ACT will participate in a press conference and Congressional fly-in on November 12th. And several organizations are beginning to discuss the creation of a formal working group of entities that will work together to expand, promote, educate, and advocate for the commuter benefit. Over the next several weeks, someone may reach out to you on this subject. If you would like to get involved beforehand, please email me.
Photo by Jacky