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American Public Transportation Association

 Transit News

 12/12/2013

Contact:

Mantill Williams
202-496-4869
mwilliams@apta.com

 Public Transit Riders’ Commute Benefit Decreases If No Congressional Action is Taken

 Statement by APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy

“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.  

If Congress fails to pass legislation to preserve equity between the tax treatment of transit benefits and benefits for parking, when current law expires on December 31, 2013, the transit commuter benefit will drop from $245 to $130 per month, while the parking benefit is automatically adjusted up to $250 per month.

Reducing the benefits for public transit riders at the same time that this tax benefit is adjusted upward for auto drivers diverges from a balanced federal tax policy that treats different modes of travel equitably.

We urge Americans to support fair treatment for all commuters by writing to their Representatives and Senators and asking them to support the Commuter Parity Act (House Resolution 2288) and the Commuter Benefits Equity Act (Senate Bill 1116).  Congress can extend this benefit in any “tax extenders” legislation that is considered before the end of the year.

Congress must act now to maintain parity between transit tax benefits and parking tax benefits to ensure that there is not a disincentive for taking public transit.  It is sound policy to maintain both the public transit and parking benefits at equal levels.

Last year, Americans took more than 10.5 billion trips on public transportation.  Let’s preserve equity in the tax code when it comes to commuting – whether one commutes by public transportation or drives to work.”

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 The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products.  More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.

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