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American Public Transportation Association

 Transit News

 11/12/2014

Contact:

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

 Urgent Action by Congress is needed on Commute Benefit To Restore Tax Parity with Auto Drivers

 Statement by APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy

“The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) joins the Commuter Benefits Work for Us Coalition, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) in urging Congress to take immediate action to restore parity among public transportation/van pool and parking benefits.
  
Commuters who use public transportation and especially those with the longer commutes by rail, bus, or van pools have seen their annual commuting cost increase by up to $1,380 a year based on a bias in the tax code that eliminated the parity between public transportation and parking benefits for auto users.  

Absent Congressional action, the transit commuter benefit dropped at the beginning of this year from $245 to $130 per month, while the parking benefit was automatically adjusted up to $250 per month.  This equates to a higher tax of approximately $565 annually for those who take public transit.  Congress has an opportunity to correct this and restore parity between transit tax benefits and parking tax benefits before the next tax year begins.

We believe it is sound policy to maintain both the public transit and parking benefits at equal levels.  The current law diverges from a balanced federal tax policy that treats different modes of travel equitably.

Restoring parity between transit tax benefits and parking tax benefits will eliminate the federal tax incentive to drive over taking public transportation. 

Let’s restore 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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