Transit Riders Keep Same Tax Benefits As Drivers

President Obama is about to sign the controversial tax-cut compromise into law, now that the House and Senate have both voted in favor of the bill. That means the transit benefit extension, hidden inside the $858 billion package, will become law as well.

Transit riders get to keep their equal tax benefits, thanks to pressure from advocates. Image: ##http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2009-apr-im-smaller-than-jax-and-i-have-rail-tucson-az##Metro Jacksonville##

Transit riders get to keep their equal tax benefits, thanks to pressure from advocates. Image: Metro Jacksonville

Nearly four years ago, Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) introduced a measure to offer tax parity for commuters on different modes. ““It’s time for mass transit commuters to get some respect,” he said. “It’s time to level the playing field between commuters who use mass transit and those that drive alone. It’s time to fix a tax structure that penalizes mass transit commuters.”

The time didn’t come for another couple years, when the stimulus went into effect, including a $230/month cap for tax-free transit benefits (up from $120/month.) But now that transit riders have been enjoying the savings for a couple years, they were loath to give them up while drivers were allowed to keep theirs.

Now they won’t have to.