Congress Raises Public Transit Commuter Benefit

In a press release yesterday, American Public Transportation Association (APTA) President and CEO Michael Melaniphy applauded Congress for passing legislation  which increased the public transit commuter benefit.

“On behalf of the millions of Americans who ride public transportation, I commend Congress for passing legislation to increase the public transit commuter benefit, and making it equal to the parking benefit,” he stated. “With parity between public transit and parking benefits, people have the ability to make the best reasonable transportation choice. For 2013, there is no longer a financial bias in the federal tax code against public transit use. This has always been an issue of fairness, and public transit advocates are pleased that the federal tax code will again provide transit riders with the same tax benefits accorded to those who drive to work.”

Under the new “fiscal cliff” legislation passed by Congress this week, the parity between public transit and parking benefits are now up to $240 a month and are retroactive from January 1, 2012. This will expire on December 31, 2013. APTA urged Congress to permanently extend the transit commuter tax benefit to the same level as the parking tax benefit.

“It is our hope that in the new Congress, legislation will pass to make the public transit commuter benefit parity permanent,” said Melaniphy.

The bill also extends through 2013, the alternative fuels tax credit refund that many public transit systems utilize to offset costs associated with using natural gas and other alternatively-fueled vehicles.

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.

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