Congress Mulling Extending Transit Pretax Benefits

The benefits, which allow for up to $230 a month of pretax income to be set aside for transit commuting, may dip to just $125 a month if Congress does not decide on an extension by the end of the month.
December 16, 2011, 6am PST | Judy Chang
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"'Unless Congress acts, there will be a financial bias in the federal tax code against public transit use,' Michael P. Melaniphy, president and chief executive of the American Public Transportation Association, said in a statement. 'We are seeking to maintain parity with the parking benefit to ensure that there isn't a disincentive to take public transportation.'

Because Congress has not extended the benefits, human resource managers can only allow employees to set aside as much as $125 pretax for January because the disbursements are done a month ahead, according to Paul Dean, a vice president at Transit Center, which oversees transit benefits for 15,000 public agencies and private companies. Dean said about 25 percent of the companies in major metropolitan areas offer the pretax benefit options."

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Published on Saturday, December 10, 2011 in The Washington Post
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