Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council
Statement on Congress Failure to Extend
Pre-Tax Commuter Benefit Limits
The Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council (LIRRCC) is extremely disappointed in the failure of the United States Congress to approve legislation extending increased limits on pre-tax commuting benefits. LIRRCC Chair Mark Epstein states “We have been informed that, due to Congress’ failure to pass any tax extenders, including the mass transit benefit, in current budget discussions, riders will see this vital benefit expire at the end of this month. In this fragile economy, this refusal to act is a slap in the face to hard working Long Islanders who use commuter rail, buses, and subways to travel to and from their jobs. Starting January 1, 2012, commuters will be hit with a tax hike on the money they pay to commute to work. We urge the Congressional leadership to reconsider this decision and to restore this lifeline to struggling commuters.”
For the past several years, transit riders have been able to deduct up to $230 a month pre-tax to pay for commuting costs, which is equal to the pre-tax deduction that motorists can use to pay for parking. The expiration of the higher limits for transit commuters means that the transit deduction will revert to $125 as of January 1, 2012.
The LIRRCC again calls on Congress to do the right thing and immediately restore this critical relief for working families, who are already stressed by economic conditions and battered by service cuts and fare increases.