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Letter Writing Sunday: Transit Tax Benefits for Straphangers

Posted in Editorials on November 20th, 2011

Hat tip, Long Island Fail Road.

As someone who takes public transportation to work every day, I am happy to take advantage of the Transit Tax Benefit – I can set aside a certain amount of money from my salary every month, pre-tax, and spend it on bus or train fare. Currently the amount is $230 per month, which is a reasonable amount considering a NYC Subway pass is $104 per month and a Long Island Rail Road, New Jersey Transit or Metro North Commuter Rail pass can be over $200 per month.

If it’s so incredibly controversial to remove tax brakes for corporate jets, why can’t working people of all classes write off their commuting costs? And yet somehow this years budget will roll back the allowance to only $115 per month.

You can take action by sending an email to your member of Congress and Senators, and asking them to support H.R. 2412 and S. 1034, both titled “The Commuter Benefits Equality Act” which will keep the Tax Benefit at the current level. My letter is below

I am writing to you today to ask you to support The Commuter Benefits Equality Act. As a commuter, I face increasingly high fares every year and this tax benefit helps to reduce the cost. Public transportation has many benefits, one of which is a cleaner environment for all of us to enjoy, and so this incentive has multiple positive qualities.

At this time of economic hardship for so many Americans, I urge you to pass this bill so that there will be as few obstacles as possible for getting people back to work.