Today, Congressman Sires became an original cosponsor to H.R. 1825 , the Commuter Relief Act, introduced by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), which expands a series of tax credits for individuals and employers to make it easier for commuters to bicycle, carpool, walk, or use public transit.
"This legislation gives commuters the flexibility they need to get out of their cars and into other modes of transportation," said Congressman Sires. "With high gas prices, commuters need more alternatives, and this legislation contains provisions to create true transit equity amongst different modes, and reduce traffic congestion."
The Commuter Relief Act will create transit equity by setting a uniform cap for all employer transportation fringe benefits to $200 a month. Additionally, individuals who are self-employed will be able to benefit by receiving transit fringe benefits for commuting that is done for work. Under this bill, an employer who offers a parking transportation fringe benefit will also be required to offer employees an option of receiving the dollar amount of the parking benefit. A 10% tax credit for expenditures on vanpool vehicles and services will also be created to incentivize employers and employees to commute with others.
This legislation is revenue neutral. Additionally, this legislation is endorsed by the American Public Transit Association, the Association for Commuter Transportation, Avego Commuting, the League of American Bicyclists, and VPSI Vanpooling Inc.
"With nearly 27% of a family's income set aside for transportation costs, it is important to provide transportation options to commuters," said Sires.