In final bill, commuters to lose transit, parking and biking benefits

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

You thought net neutrality was bad? It gets worse.

Released late Friday, the final bill agreed on by Republican negotiators would eliminate the tax incentive for private employers that subsidize their employees’ transit, parking, and bicycle commuting expenses, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

According to the news outlet, companies can currently provide parking or transit passes worth up to $255 a month to employees as a benefit to assist paying for their commuting expenses, later deducting the amount from the company’s corporate taxes.

So what’s the big idea behind getting rid of the deduction? According to the Chicago Tribune, as the tax bill lowers the corporate tax rate by a significant amount, smaller tax breaks that confuse the tax code are no longer needed. And technically, companies can still offer their employees transit passes and parking but they would no longer get the tax deduction.

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“It’s clearly a negative for commuters who are spending a lot of money on public transportation,” said vice president for governmental affairs at the American Public Transportation Association, Rob Healy told the Tribune.

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“The concern is that if employers can’t write it off, they won’t offer it. And if they don’t offer it, it’s a loss to the employees,” Healy said to the news outlet. “It could ultimately hurt the ridership.”

This also includes businesses that provide their employee with $20 a month to cover the expense of commuting via bike according to the Tribune.

What do you think?

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