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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is calling on Congress to preserve the transit tax benefit that is scheduled to expire on Dec. 31.If Congress doesn't act before year's end, the transit commuter benefit will drop from $245 to $130 per month, while the auto parking benefit will be adjusted automatically to increase to $250 per month, APTA officials said in a press release.APTA officials are supporting the Commuter Parity Act (H.R. 2288) and the Commuter Benefits Equity Act (S.B. 1116), which could be included in any "tax extender" legislation considered by Dec. 31, according to APTA."Commuters who use public transportation and especially those with the longer commutes by rail, bus or van pools may see their annual commuting cost increase up to $1,380 a year based on a bias in the tax code that eliminates the parity between public transportation and auto users," said APTA President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Melaniphy in a prepared statement issued yesterday. "It is sound policy to maintain both the public transit and parking benefits at equal levels."