WASHINGTON (Thursday, March 29, 2012)
House of Representatives Fails to Reverse Cut to Transit Accounts
/PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Today, the United States House of Representatives failed to approve a multi-year Surface Transportation Reauthorization bill that would reverse cuts to pretax transit accounts available to commuters who use public transportation and vanpools. As a result of this failure, many Americans will continue to face higher taxes and commuting costs at a time when they can least afford it. Legislation approved in the Senate earlier this month would have restored the maximum pretax monthly contribution for mass transit commuters from $125 to $240 per month - the amount allowable for commuters to cover parking expenses.
"Congress has left many commuters one stop short of their destination," said Dan Neuburger, President of WageWorks Commuter Benefit Services and member of the CommuterBenefitsWorkForUs.com coalition. "Due to politics getting in the way of sound public policy, the House failed to give commuters the break they need and deserve. While the Senate did its part, the House has kicked the can down the road, forcing many middle-class Americans to forego another three months of tax savings."
While benefits for mass transit commuters were reduced from $230 to $125 per month at the beginning of 2012, the cap for parking costs was increased from $230 to $240 per month. The failure to restore parity between parking and mass transit benefits effectively reduces the allowable contribution for mass transit commuters by $690 over the first six months of 2012 - a reduction that could cost individual commuters as much as $270 this year.
"Millions of Americans rely on pretax commuter benefits to manage and hold down the costs of an increasingly expensive commute to work," added Neuburger. "With gas prices on the rise, commuters using mass transit to get to work need a break, not a penalty."
WageWorks (NYSE: WAGE) is a leader in administering Consumer-Directed Benefits (CDBs), which empower employees to save money on taxes while also providing corporate tax advantages for employers. WageWorks is solely dedicated to administering CDBs, including pre-tax spending accounts, such as Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), health and dependent care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs), as well as Commuter Benefit Services, including transit and parking programs, wellness programs, COBRA, and other employee benefits. WageWorks makes it easier to understand and take advantage of Consumer-Directed Benefits for 58,000 employers and approximately 4.5 million people. WageWorks is headquartered in San Mateo, California, with offices in major locations throughout the United States. For more information, visit www.wageworks.com.