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Local Commuters May Receive Tax Break On Transportation

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LIRR

LIRR Train (Credit: Daniel Barry/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — If you take mass transit, a possible tax break may be headed your way, reports CBS 2′s Ann Mercogliano.

“You have to give a guy a chance just to get to work so why not have a tax break for a commuter?” said Sean Inman of the Bronx.

Senator Charles Schumer said a mass transit tax benefit that expired last year was included in the Senate transportation bill overhauling federal highway and transit programs.

“We can restore it and even restore it retroactively, meaning about $1,000 for those who take the LIRR, the NJ Transit, the Metro-North, and the NYC subway system,” he said.

If it doesn’t pass, the monthly tax benefit for mass transit commuters stays at $125 per month, but if it does pass, the break increases to $240.

“As long as an employer offers the benefit, an employee can take advantage of the benefit,” said Dan Neuburger, president of WageWorks Commuter Services.

Congressman Peter King notes strong opposition to the tax break, but says it is gaining steam on both sides of the aisle.

“There’s a number of congressman across the country against it because they feel it helps New York too much,” he said. “I will not vote for the transportation bill unless the commuter tax credit is in there.”

The Senate is expected to pass an extension of the benefit this week. It would then head to the House. Meanwhile, a proposed tax break for commuter parking would remain at $240 per month.

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