Coalition Urges Congress to Address Commuter Benefits Disparity

Oct. 29, 2015

In October,  the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced they were increasing the monthly limitation for the qualified parking benefit from $250 to $255 for calendar year 2016.  This highlights the enormous disparity between the monthly exclusion for parking benefits and transportation benefits, which remains frozen at $130 – well below the level of parking.

As Congress considers a potential six year reauthorization of the surface transportation bill and deliberates over tax extenders, now is the time to end this irrational policy of favoring automobiles at almost twice the tax benefit of mass transit.  Not only does mass transit decrease the pressure of our overburdened highway system, use of mass transit also pays environmental dividends by reducing carbon emissions.  In addition, at a time of limited budget and funding constraints, equalizing the parking and transit benefits at $235 per month would raise over $130 million dollars in revenue for the federal government over the next ten years - money which could be spent improving our transportation infrastructure or reducing the deficit.

The Commuter Benefits Work For Us coalition appreciates the ongoing leadership on this important issue from Senator Chuck Schumer (D – NY) and Representative Peter King (R – NY), and continues to urge support for The Commuter Benefits Equity Act of 2015 (S.1792) and The Commuter Parity Act of 2015 (H.R. 990), which would establish parity between the parking and transit monthly benefit caps.  We need sound and rational transportation policy to meet the needs of our ever expanding population. Now is the time to assure permanent parity between the transit and parking benefits.