Senator Fuschillo: Congress Fails New York’s Commuters Again

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

June 30, 2012

     “Six months ago, New York’s commuters saw their federal and state mass transit tax benefits cut nearly in half because Congress did not approve the necessary extension. Yesterday, Congress failed them again by not repealing this almost fifty percent tax increase as part of the adopted federal transportation plan.

     Washington’s inexplicable decision to tax people more for going to work is a slap in the face to every hardworking New York commuter who is already paying more than enough to take mass transit to work. Even worse, because Congress did not create parity with the federal pre-tax parking benefit, which in 2012 is $240 a month, they have created an incentive for people to avoid mass transit entirely. That’s completely the wrong approach at a time when we are trying to ease congestion and get cars off the road.

     Because of Congress’ inaction in extending the benefit, I introduced legislation to fully restore the state’s mass transit benefit and allow commuters to immediately exempt up to a total of $240 a month from state income tax to cover mass-transit expenses. The New York State Senate passed the legislation in February. The Assembly needs to act, especially since we now know that Washington will not.

     Commuters were counting on Washington to deliver a result and restore these important savings. Instead, they got run over by a Congress that seems to be working against them rather than for them.”