Congress’ passage of the “fiscal cliff” aversion bill this week included a rise in tax benefits for people who use public transportation to travel to work. The ability to withhold from paychecks the amount transit users spend on trips to work has been a topic pushed since 2011. But since then, the benefit remained almost the same as the one provided to those who drive to work: $230. That was until the transit benefit fell to $125 in 2012, and parking benefit rose to $240.
“We applaud Congress for increasing this commuter tax benefit that will provide much needed financial assistance to working families,” Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) International President Larry Hanley said in a statement. “The average American family devotes nearly 20 percent of its income to transportation – second only to housing. The increase in this benefit means they have one less expense to worry about, and in today’s economy, every dollar counts.”