Fighting for our mass-transit commuters, our taxpayers, and our environment, Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, M.D. (NY-19) today announced that she has introduced HR 6066, the Commuter Savings Act, which would extend the parity between mass- transit and parking benefits through December 2013.
"Today I'm introducing the Commuter Savings Act to provide our mass-transit users with the same benefits that drivers now receive," said Hayworth. "This bill will give a break to more than 70,000 Hudson Valley neighbors who are helping us to reduce congestion on our roads and streets. Times are tough, and I want to do all I can to save our constituents' hard-earned dollars."
Hayworth thanked her colleagues, Representatives Peter King and Robert Dold, for joining as primary co-sponsors of the legislation.
Congresswoman Hayworth is a strong advocate for the tens of thousands of Hudson Valley residents and millions of Americans who rely on safe and affordable public transportation. The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) alone transports more than 8.5 million commuters every day. In New York's 19th Congressional District, which includes Westchester, Orange, Rockland, Dutchess, and Putnam Counties, the MTA's 31 Metro-North Railroad stations serve 11,000 passengers every weekday.
Background on HR 6606, The Commuter Savings Act
Current tax code provides an exclusion from taxable income for expenses associated with commuters' parking and mass transit. The parking benefit automatically adjusts for increasing costs of living. The mass transit benefit must be adjusted via legislation. On January 1, 2012, the most recent adjustment for mass transit expired, and the benefit fell from $230 to $125 per month. In contrast, the parking benefit has increased from $230 to $240 per month.
The Commuter Savings Act protects commuters from a tax increase by restoring parity between employer-provided mass transit and parking benefits through December 31, 2013. This will
provide Congress with time to negotiate a permanent solution to the disparity between parking and transit benefits. The Act makes the mass-transit tax benefit retroactive to January 1, 2012.
This legislation would also help relieve traffic congestion, reduce fuel consumption, and provide for a more efficient commute in the Hudson Valley and in the New York City metropolitan area.