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Rail News Home Federal Legislation & Regulation

12/13/2011



Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Bipartisan Senate coalition calls for extension of mass-transit commuter benefit


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Last week, U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) joined a bipartisan coalition of 20 additional senators in urging the Senate Finance Committee to include an extension of the mass-transit commuter tax credit in any relevant legislation the Senate takes up before the benefit expires at year’s end.

If the credit is not renewed, the cost of commuting will increase by up to 22 percent for mass transit users, the senators said in a joint statement issued on Dec. 9.

In a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the senators wrote: “Commuter benefits are one of the core benefits offered by employers, after health, retirement and disability benefits. This important benefit eases the burden of commuting costs on families, relieves congestion, reduces the stress on our highway system and decreases our reliance on foreign oil.”

Congress raised the tax-free benefit that workers can apply toward commuting costs from $120 per month up to $230 per month in an effort to put mass-transit benefits on the same level as automobile parking benefits.

Earlier this year, the Maryland senators cosponsored the Commuter Benefits Equity Act of 2011, legislation spearheaded by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) that would make the mass-transit tax credit permanent and on the same level as parking benefits.





Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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