Rep. Lipinski Urges Ways and Means Committee Leadership to Restore Transit Tax Benefit (November 26, 2014)
Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) is calling on Congress to restore the tax benefit that helps commuters who use transit to get to work. This benefit helps more people use public transportation and eases congestion on the roads. In a letter to Ways and Means Committee Leadership that was joined by three other Chicagoland House members, he asks them to continue the inclusion of the increased transit tax benefit in the tax extender package the House is expected to consider before the end of the year.
In the past, commuters riding trains, buses, subways, and other forms of public transit were entitled to $245 in monthly tax-free benefits to defray the costs of their commute, an amount equal to the parking benefit offered to commuters who chose to drive to work. However, Congressional inaction on the transit benefit led to it being reduced by nearly half, to $130 in January of this year. As a result, many commuters who previously utilized this benefit have been forced to either switch back to driving, pay for fares that exceed the monthly benefit out of their pocket, or pay taxes on the fares that were previously excluded from taxable income.
“With 2.7 million commuters using the transit benefit to get from home to work, Congress should take action to ensure that riders of public transportation are provided with the same benefits as other commuters,” stated Rep. Lipinski. “Moreover, Congress should ensure that the benefit is restored in order to continue efforts to encourage public transportation ridership, which helps get cars off the road, reduce emissions, and eliminate lost time and delays. As Congress seeks to improve our economy and create jobs, helping people get to work must be a priority.”