Blumenauer and Commuter Champions Applaud Restoration of Transit Tax Benefit

December 17, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, following House passage of the PATH Act ­– a multiyear tax package – Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Peter King (R-NY), Jim McGovern (D-MA), and Bob Dold (R-IL) welcomed a permanent increase of the commuter tax benefit exclusion for transit riders to $255 a month, finally giving transit equal treatment with parking subsidies in the tax code. This provision incorporates legislation introduced by the lawmakers, H.R. 990, the Commuter Parity Act.

Representative Blumenauer said, “As we face worsening congestion on our roads and the growing threat of climate change, we should not be incentivizing driving to work over other modes of transportation. Restoring parity for the transit tax benefit saves Americans in all communities time and money by easing congestion and road wear and tear, and makes our transportation network more sustainable. This important fix brings relief to commuters who saw their annual costs of commuting rise by up to nearly $1,400 when the transit benefit was cut last year. As we invest in a transportation system to meet the demands and travel trends of tomorrow, providing equal transit and parking tax benefits is critical to give commuters choices about when and how they get to work. This provision is a huge step forward for sustainability and transportation efficiency.”

Representative King said, “This provision is a common-sense solution to ensuring that public transportation is a cost-effective choice. Commuters will receive the same level of tax relief regardless of whether they drive or use public transportation but it will provide an incentive to use mass transportation, which will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, ease traffic congestion and the costs associated with road repair.”

Representative McGovern said, “For millions of Americans across the country who use mass transit every day to commute to work, this is a big victory. Making this transit tax benefit permanent will bring critical relief to commuters by saving them money and it also offers employers another attractive benefit to offer their workers. And by making mass transit more affordable, we are giving Americans more commuting options and taking important steps to support sustainable transportation, mitigate congestion and reduce wear and tear on our roads and bridges. This has been a big priority for my constituents in Central and Western Massachusetts who take the train everyday into downtown Boston and I am proud to join Republicans and Democrats to support this important measure.”

Representative Dold said, “Restoring the transit tax benefit is a bipartisan win-win. It’s good for the environment, good for workers and good for businesses. This important fix will provide relief to commuters while reducing congestion on our roads and making our transportation infrastructure more sustainable. I am proud to have helped shepherd this bill over the finish line.”

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