The federal government is perilously close to disincentivizing the use of public transit by commuters. The commuter transit tax benefit
, which allows individuals to count up to $230 per month in transit costs as pre-tax, is set to expire
at the end of this year. Nonsensically, the parallel tax benefit for car commuters is due to stay in place. An effort to keep the transit benefit is underway in Congress, but with the more attention-grabbing disputes going on in Washington right now, it might be easy for those indifferent to public transportation to quietly let this provision expire.
Sen. Chuck Schumer advocating for the continuation of the commuter tax benefit in Grand Central Station. Will his colleagues from Maryland follow him? / Transportation Nation
But this will not happen if transit users, or even those who reject the idea that government should be in the business of making car commuting the only viable option, make their voices heard. You can help by telling your members of Congress
that allowing this benefit to expire would incentive car use and disincentivize transit,
and that this is unacceptable.
If Congress does not act before January 1st, the transit benefit will drop from $230 to $120 automatically
. Congress extended the equal benefit levels for car and transit commuters last year because thousands of people wrote and called their representatives in support- and it can happen again. Both of Maryland’s senators
have now joined a bipartisan coalition in support of an extension.