Schumer Amendment: Make Transit Tax Benefit Equal to Parking Benefit

The last piece of the Senate’s two-year transportation reauthorization proposal will be marked up by the Finance Committee tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. The committee was tasked with finding approximately $12 billion to bridge the projected shortfall of the Highway Trust Fund over the life of the bill. So far, according to a summary released by Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), they have found a little over $10.4 billion:

Sen. Schumer had made restoring the pre-tax commuter transit benefit a priority in 2012. Photo: AP

  • $3.7 billion transferred from the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund, already funded by a slice of the federal gas tax
  • $2.8 billion from reducing a tax credit on certain biofuels
  • $2.5 billion from taxes on imported cars, redirected from the general fund to the HTF
  • $0.7 billion from the “gas guzzler tax,” also redirected from the general fund
  • $0.7 in back taxes collected after revoking passports of serious offenders, assuming offenders would rather pay the feds than lose their passport

Furthermore, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has sponsored an amendment that would restore parity between the pre-tax commuter benefits for transit and parking. There had been parity between transit and parking pre-tax benefits since the Stimulus Act was passed in 2009, but the transit benefit was slashed in half — from $230 a month to $125 — when the measure expired on January 1st. Schumer’s amendment would make the parity permanent.

Live updates will be available tomorrow on twitter (#TranspoMarkup).