1/2/13: The fiscal cliff deal approved by both the House and Senate includes NTEU-supported language that would reinstate parity between the transit and parking portions of the commuter benefit through 2013 and make it retroactive to January 1, 2012.
As you know, in 2010, as part of the “Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010,” Congress included a provision that kept the mass transit portion of the commuter benefit at $230 per month for 2011, preventing a reduction to $125 per month, and keeping it equal to the parking tax benefit. Unfortunately, because Congress did not again extend the transit benefit before it expired at the end of 2011, the monthly maximum transit amount was reduced to $125 per month on January 1, 2012.
Meanwhile, due to an automatic cost-of-living increase, the monthly limit for the parking portion of the commuter benefit was increased from $230 per month to $240 per month for 2012, further exacerbating the current disparity between the transit and parking benefits. The fiscal cliff deal approved by Congress addresses this disparity by raising the transit benefit to $240 through the end of 2013 and makes it retroactive to January 1, 2012.
Since Congress failed to extend the transit benefit by the end of 2011, NTEU has diligently worked with our supporters in Congress to highlight the importance of reinstating parity between the transit and parking portions of the commuter benefit. In testimony submitted to House and Senate Committees, and in letters to every member of the House and Senate, NTEU has highlighted the importance of the transit benefit to many working people, especially federal employees that use public transportation to get to and from work, and who rely on the benefit to provide relief in their commuting costs. NTEU’s efforts were successful in including transit parity language in S. 3521, the Senate tax extender package approved earlier this year, however the House elected not to consider that legislation.
Chapter 293 leaders have reached out to SEC management regarding implementation at the agency. NTEU is pleased that the fiscal cliff deal reinstates transit parity through the end of this year and makes it retroactive to the beginning on 2012, and will be sure to provide you with additional information on how retroactive implementation of the benefit will occur once more guidance is provided to us.