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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

APTA: Fiscal-cliff bill includes transit tax benefits


The so-called fiscal cliff legislation, which President Barack Obama signed yesterday, included two transit-related tax provisions backed by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

One provision increases the transit commuter tax benefit from $125 per month to $240 per month, making the transit benefit equal to the federal tax benefit for parking, APTA officials said in a legislative update issued yesterday. The provision allows transit users to receive up to $240 per month from their employers as a nontaxable fringe benefit, or allows employees to set aside up to that amount as a pre-tax benefit for riding public transportation to work.

"For 2013, there is no longer a financial bias in the federal tax code against public transit use," said APTA President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Melaniphy. "It is our hope that in the new Congress, legislation will pass to make the public transit commuter benefit parity permanent."

The legislation also extends provisions in the tax code that provide a tax credit for a portion of costs associated with transit systems' use of alternative fuel. The extension is retroactive to Dec. 31, 2011, and runs through 2013.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/3/2013