WASHINGTON, March 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the United States House of Representatives failed to approve a multi-year Surface Transportation Reauthorization bill that would reverse cuts to pre-tax 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 pre-tax 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 pre-tax 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, Inc. is a leading on-demand provider of tax-advantaged programs for consumer-directed health, commuter and other employee spending account benefits, or CDBs, in the United States. We administer and operate a broad array of CDBs, including spending account management programs, such as health and dependent care Flexible Spending Accounts, or FSAs, Health Savings Accounts, or HSAs, Health Reimbursement Arrangements, or HRAs, and commuter benefits, such as transit and parking programs.
WageWorks is headquartered in San Mateo, California, with offices in major locations throughout the United States. For more information, please visit the website at www.wageworks.com.