Senator Charles Schumer called Monday for the renewal of a federal tax credit set to expire Dec. 31st that can save New Yorkers as much as $1000 a year.
Nr. Schumer wrote a part of President Obama’s 2009 stimulus package that increased a break for mass transit commuters from $120 to $230 a month, the same as for those who get to work by car. A temporary measure, the bill was renewed for a year in December, but Congress has yet to make it permanent.
As things stand, commuters can deduct the full cost of a $104 30-day unlimited MetroCard, a $50 weekly MTA express bus pass, a $233 monthly LIRR pass, and a $229 monthly MetroNorth pass from their pre-tax earnings. Though the IRS has increased the cut to $240 a month for next year, it only applies to drivers. If Congress doesn’t pass Schumer’s bill, the mass transit benefit will return to $125 a month, covering a little more than half of many New Yorkers’ transport costs.
“The last thing we should be doing in this economy is making it more expensive for New Yorkers to get to work,” Schumer, who has introduced a bill to maintain parity between driving and mass transit benefits, said at Grand Central Terminal today. “Increasing fares and decreasing incomes mean we need to help stretch every dollar earned by New Yorkers and that includes keeping programs that reduce commuting costs in place. We cannot afford to let this expire.”
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