'We're Talking About Adding $1,500 To The Cost Of Commuting'

HICKSVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Long Island Rail Road commuters may have to fork over more after-tax dollars for their ticket if Congress fails to act.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, LIRR riders can receive a pre-tax benefit of $245 each month through most employers, but that benefit is set to expire at the end of the year.

Rep. Steve Israel has called on his congressional colleagues to make the benefit permanent.

“If this pre-tax commuter benefit is cut by the United States Congress in December, we’re talking about adding $1,500 to the cost of commuting – $1,500 is a lot of money for most people sitting on the Long Island Rail Road or the New York City subway system,” Rep. Israel said. “This is the worst time and these are the last people who should be asked to come up with another $1,500.”

Rep. Israel said the benefit helps 100,000 LIRR commuters every day.

“This would be one of the biggest economic hits to Long Island’s middle class, to New York’s middle class. Right now, a fare to get to work is pretty expensive,”

If not extended, the $245 will drop to $125 in monthly pre-tax benefits.

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