NEW YORK (AP / WCBS 880) - Sen. Charles Schumer on Monday called for Congress to renew the federal mass transit break that saves many New York commuters hundreds of dollars per year.
WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb On The Story
Many large employers offer transit benefit programs that allow workers to use up to $230 a month of their salaries for mass transit costs. The money is exempt from federal, state and city income taxes.
The pre-tax commuter benefit was $120 per month until 2009 when Congress passed the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.
The increase was set to expire at the end of 2010, but Congress extended the benefit to Dec. 31, 2011.
Now that the second expiration date is looming, Schumer, D-N.Y., has introduced a bill to make the $230 per month benefit permanent.
“The last thing we should be doing in this economy is making it more expensive for New Yorkers to get to work,” he said at a news conference at Grand Central Terminal. “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.”
He said 500,000 commuters in the New York metropolitan area and 2.7 million nationwide take advantage of the benefit.
(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)