Government Issues

APTA lobbies for commuter tax benefit action

Posted on November 13, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is pushing lawmakers to revisit the commuter tax break during a lame duck session that is expected to dominated by tax issues, reported The Hill. For the full story, click here.

APTA President/CEO Michael Melaniphy released the following statement:

"The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) joins the Commuter Benefits Work for Us Coalition, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) in urging Congress to take immediate action to restore parity among public transportation/van pool and parking benefits.

Commuters who use public transportation and especially those with the longer commutes by rail, bus, or van pools have seen their annual commuting cost increase by up to $1,380 a year based on a bias in the tax code that eliminated the parity between public transportation and parking benefits for auto users.

Absent Congressional action, the transit commuter benefit dropped at the beginning of this year from $245 to $130 per month, while the parking benefit was automatically adjusted up to $250 per month. This equates to a higher tax of approximately $565 annually for those who take public transit. Congress has an opportunity to correct this and restore parity between transit tax benefits and parking tax benefits before the next tax year begins.

We believe it is sound policy to maintain both the public transit and parking benefits at equal levels. The current law diverges from a balanced federal tax policy that treats different modes of travel equitably.

Restoring parity between transit tax benefits and parking tax benefits will eliminate the federal tax incentive to drive over taking public transportation.

Let's restore equity in the tax code when it comes to commuting — whether one commutes by public transportation or drives to work."

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