On Thursday morning, the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX) released H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The bill proposes significant changes to current law that impacts the public transportation industry, which APTA spoke to in a letter to the Ways and Means Committee earlier this morning. To view the bill in its entirety as well as supplementary documents provided, please visit the committee website.
For more than a year, APTA has enumerated our strong support for maintaining the tax exempt status of municipal bonds, the commuter tax benefit, alternative fuels benefits, private activity bonds (PABs), investment tax credits, and the need to address the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund. Unfortunately, the bill fails to address most of APTA’s key priorities. Specifically:
- The bill does not address the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund, despite a letter signed by more than 250 Members of Congress addressing this issue.
- It also terminates Private Activity Bonds (PABs), which are utilized for the construction of rail and bus infrastructure and facilities.
- In this bill, the deduction for state and local income/sales taxes would be eliminated. In addition the deduction for state and local property taxes would be capped at $10,000.
- Also, the Alternative Fuel Tax (ALT) credits were not extended, having expired on December 31, 2016. These tax credits are offered to transit agencies utilizing compressed (CNG) or liquefied (LNG) natural gas fleets.
- Regarding the Commuter Tax Benefit, the pretax payroll deduction option is retained, but the ability of employers to deduct the cost of this benefit is eliminated. APTA believes this could disincentive employers from offering this key benefit which promotes job connectivity and growth.
The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to markup this legislation on November 6, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. APTA encourages you to contact your Member of Congress to address these key issues in this legislation. To view the hearing, please visit the committee link here.
APTA continues to review this legislation and will be closely tracking these issues as the legislative process continues.