12/7/11: Commencing on January 1, 2012, the maximum monthly mass transit subsidy at the SEC will be reduced to $125 from its current level of $230. NTEU is continuing to press for a possible legislative solution to this issue, H.R. 2412/S.1034).
Last month, NTEU sent these letters to every member of Congress in support of H.R. 2412/S. 1034 that was introduced by Representative James McGovern (D-MA) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and that would prevent a reduction in the current mass transit commuter benefit of $230 per month by providing permanent parity between mass transit and parking transportation benefits.
As you may know, when the President signed the “Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010,” it included a provision that kept the mass transit commuter benefit at $230 per month for 2011, preventing a reduction to $120 per month, and keeping it equal to the current parking tax benefit. During debate on the bill, NTEU worked with our supporters in Congress to extend this critical benefit for employees who use public transportation to and from work. Unfortunately, because the bill extended the commuter benefit for just one year, the monthly maximum transit amount will be reduced $120 on December 31, 2011, without congressional action.
In NTEU’s letters of support, the Union noted that extending the commuter benefit at its current $230 level was critical for thousands of federal employees that rely on public transportation to get to and from work and that reducing this benefit would impose a severe economic burden on them. In addition, these benefits play a critical role in encouraging greater transit ridership, which helps lessen congestion on roadways, reduce pollution, and conserve energy.
NTEU also offered strong support for providing permanent parity between the transit and parking benefit by pointing out that it makes no sense for the government to provide workers using environmentally helpful mass transit a lesser benefit than those driving and parking personal vehicles.
In the coming days and weeks, NTEU will continue to highlight the adverse impact that a reduction in the monthly mass transit benefit would have on federal workers and will do all it can to ensure this critical benefit is extended, and that permanent parity is provided for transit and parking benefits.