Mass Transit Benefit May Shrink Again in 2014, Absent Action

After January 1, 2014, those who commute to work via mass transportation may only be able to use up to $130 a month in pre-tax dollars, as opposed to the current $245 per month, if Congress does not extend a subsidy that maintains parity between mass transit and parking benefit levels for commuters. 

Over the past few years the mass transit subsidy has risen and fallen with short term extensions, and it is set to do so again in 2014. The parking benefit is to rise to $250 per month next year. 

Lawmakers have proposed more permanent legislative fixes for the mass transit subsidy in both the House and Senate. 

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced the Commuter Benefits Equity Act (S. 1116), which would increase the mass transit subsidy to $245 a month and subject it to cost-of-living increases. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) introduced the Commuter Parity Act (H.R. 2288), which would level the parking and mass transit subsidies at $220 a month and subject to cost-of-living increases.  

Although there are few legislative days remaining for Congress in 2013, legislators may decide to take up this issue. The mass transit subsidy affects all commuters, not solely federal employees.

Posted in General News

Tags: commuter benefits, mass-transit, mass transportation

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